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.
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.