Network Appliance Inc. announced Monday a new switch option for its Fibre Channel customers, spanning several operating systems.
The specialist in network-attached storage devices launched versions for SANs (storage area networks) last fall, using Brocade Communications Systems Inc. switches. Now, as planned in late 2002, theyre also interoperable with McData Corp. units, said Steve Hogan, manager of hardware engineering, in Sunnyvale, Calif.
"The main difference is, with Brocade were reselling. … With McData were simply declaring interoperability," he said. Network Appliance needed the partnership so users could attach its hardware to existing McData-powered SANs, he explained.
For now, the switches work with Network Appliance storage connected to servers running Windows 2000, Solaris 8.x and 9.x, Red Hat Inc.s Linux, and SuSE Linux AG, Hogan said. IBMs AIX and Hewlett-Packard Co.s HP-UX versions of Unix are due later this year or early next year, he said.
McData, of Broomfield, Colo., is also working on getting vendors such as Network Appliance to interoperate with switch-based versions of its SANavigator software. Brocade and SAN newcomer Cisco Systems Inc., both of San Jose, Calif., instead let vendors run their own software on switches.
Basic hardware interoperability with Cisco is due early next year, Hogan said. Along with partner Hitachi Ltd., Network Appliance competes most with Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC Corp.