Multiservice Director Eases Storage Climb

 
 
By Brian Fonseca  |  Posted 2004-07-19 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The UltraNet Multi-Service Director family from Computer Network Technology ranges from branch-office models to ones that scale up to 512 ports for large enterprises and service providers.

Paving the way toward helping customers consolidate maturing SAN (storage area network) environments in conjunction with tiered storage adoption, Computer Network Technology Corp. on Monday introduced its UltraNet Multi-Service Director. Individual model offerings for the new UltraNet Multi-Service Director (UMD) family will range from the UMD-2, for branch and remote offices; to UMD-7, for midsize businesses and small data centers; to UMD-16, supporting up to 256 nonblocking ports of Fibre Connection (FICON) and/or Fibre Channel. Rounding out the product set is UMD-32, which scales up to 512 ports for large enterprises and service providers, said Doug Ingraham, senior director of SAN switching at Minneapolis-based Computer Network Technology (CNT).
Model 16 of UMD, featuring new interface blades for Fibre Channel, FICON and Enterprise Manager, will be available in August. Next up, UMD-2 is set for release in the first half of 2005 and will include WAN (wide area network), 10GB Fibre Channel, and Storage Services support.
Set for the second half of 2005, model 7 will be equipped with blades for iSCSI and 4 Gbits. On the horizon for early 2006, UMD-32 is set to support 10GbE, according to CNT officials. By offering a flexible upgrade path that can climb from 1 Gbps to 2 Gbps to 4 Gbps to 10 Gbps, CNTs UMD platform is designed to connect multiple SAN islands into a centralized management framework capable of bolting on a variety of extension services. These services include virtualization, protocol support for iSCSI, FICON, FCIP, security, and CNTs WAN and MAN (metropolitan area network) connectivity. UMD features active-active load sharing and fail-over, reporting, diagnostics and hot-swap functionality.
IOGears latest 3.5-inch combo Ion Drive is increasing desktop storage. Click here to read more. "SANs are growing up. Customers cant predict when there are peak loads and where theyre going to come from, or the impact [on performance] as they change computing or storage infrastructure," Ingraham said. "Because of the ability to add different service blades, customers can change the personality of the director as they evolve their storage networks." Customer demand for multiple protocol services via a new blade that easily slides into a chassis will be fueled in the next 12 to 18 months by various hardware and software consolidation projects that reduce infrastructure cost and complexity, said Stephanie Balaouras, senior analyst at Boston-based Yankee Group. "I think people have been putting off major buying decisions and major upgrades to [storage] infrastructure for a few years. You can only put off necessary upgrades for so long [before] youre ready for advanced services," Balaouras said. "CNT is in a good position when customers do become more sophisticated and are ready to take the next step." Check out eWEEK.coms Storage Center at http://storage.eweek.com for the latest news, reviews and analysis on enterprise and business storage hardware and software.
 
 
 
 
Brian Fonseca is a senior writer at eWEEK who covers database, data management and storage management software, as well as storage hardware. He works out of eWEEK's Woburn, Mass., office. Prior to joining eWEEK, Brian spent four years at InfoWorld as the publication's security reporter. He also covered services, and systems management. Before becoming an IT journalist, Brian worked as a beat reporter for The Herald News in Fall River, Mass., and cut his teeth in the news business as a sports and news producer for Channel 12-WPRI/Fox 64-WNAC in Providence, RI. Brian holds a B.A. in Communications from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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