Cisco, Sun Roll Out Storage System Improvements

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2008-10-17 Print this article Print

Cisco Systems unveils groundbreaking data center control software, Sun Microsystems is moving aggressively into storage, and 3PAR and Symantec are teaming up to offer a storage package that uses file system-level intelligence to automatically optimize storage system utilization.

Companies that aren't solely focused on data storage made some of the most important news at Storage Networking World in Dallas Oct. 13 to 16.

Cisco Systems, for example, which is plunging swiftly into the data center systems business while continuing to roll along as the world's No. 1 networking infrastructure supplier, unveiled some groundbreaking data center control software.

Cisco unveiled new application delivery network capabilities for disaster recovery, security and regulatory compliance for its Data Center 3.0 management package. Cisco's Data Center 3.0 architecture provides a framework for IT staff to build highly secure, green data centers.

Thanks to I/O throughput improvements within the firmware, Cisco's WAAS (Wide-Area Application Services) reduces bandwidth requirements, data replication times, time to recovery and data loss while increasing acceptable distance between data centers and aiding regulatory compliance.

Click here to read about the SPARC T5440 server from Sun and Fujitsu.

The newest version of Cisco's WAAS software sports a Replication Accelerator mode that optimizes data center replication capabilities for storage applications.

The added capabilities will help IT managers overcome WAN bandwidth limitations when remotely replicating data over IP networks between data centers, which improves disaster recovery capabilities.

The Cisco WAAS Replication Accelerator mode has been tested and validated for use with EMC SRDF and NetApp SnapMirror applications.

Sun making storage advances with SSDs

Sun Microsystems, which has been all about data center servers, Java and open-source software, is moving more aggressively into the storage sector, too.

Two and a half years ago, when current CEO Jonathan Schwartz replaced Scott McNealy at the company's helm, Schwartz said servers, software/services and storage would be the three core businesses Sun would rely on. That is exactly the course the company is following.

Sun and Fujitsu introduced their SPARC T5440 enterprise server Oct. 13, and Sun Vice President of Systems John Fowler told me to watch for announcements coming soon about the use of solid-state flash as an option in the company's servers and storage arrays.

EMC and Dell already have been offering servers and arrays with optional SSDs, but they haven't exactly been selling like hotcakes in this sluggish economy. Many industry observers, however, see SSDs as the drives of the long-term future, due in part to their much-lower power requirements.

"No question that we're going to be going in that direction," Sun's Fowler said, adding that the Intel SSD drives would soon be made optional for the powerful yet ecologically friendly T5440, which uses substantially less energy than older servers yet delivers much more computing power.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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