Maxxan earlier this week introduced the MXV250 intelligent SAN switch for midrange IT environments, an all-in-one, modular solution that combines a redundant, 16- to 64-port Fibre Channel switch; IPStor software; and the Maxxan SANCruiser management software.
The modular design allows users to scale from small to midrange environments, install only the storage applications they require and maintain a single point of management control, said Ravi Chalaka, vice president of marketing at San Jose, Calif.-based Maxxan Systems Inc.
"Its a modular approach, so you can start with 16 ports and then go to 32 and then 48. You can start with basic virtualization and then add snapshots from disk-based backup, and then add replication for disaster recovery," Chalaka said.
The solution is targeted at midtier environments—either midsized companies or regional offices of larger companies. The key, Chalaka said, is an environment that consists of 15 to 40 servers that need connections of various types.
"With this type of environment, you dont need a director-class switch. You need a basic switch, but you need a lot of functionality that the entry level may or may not need," he said.
"They typically want to virtualize storage because they want to consolidate a variety of different storage into one. They want to be able to provide accelerated backup through disks. They may want to replicate some amount of data over long distance for disaster recovery. And they want to centrally manage all of it."
The all-in-one approach to intelligent switches makes a great deal of sense for the midtier customer, said David Hill, a principal at Mesabi Group of Westwood, Mass.
"They really want to be able to do your virtualization, snapshotting, mirroring, NAS [network-attached storage], disaster recovery, backup—everything from the same box if possible," he said. "They definitely have the need. They just needed a product that enables them to do it."
It doesnt hurt that Maxxan is first in delivering a product targeted to the specific needs of the midmarket, Hill said. In fact, targeting the midmarket is a great way for Maxxan, a relatively small company, to compete with established players such as Cisco Systems Inc., Brocade Communications Systems Inc. and McData Corp., he said.
"I suspect they feel a little like the Rodney Dangerfield of the intelligent switch business because they have been delivering while others have been talking," he said.
As for Maxxan, Chalaka said the company plans to continue adding functionality to its offering. Next up, he said, is integrating more software into the switch, which he said will happen at the end of the year.