Tape storage and host bus adapters are the newest technology components to become part of the Storage Networking Industry Associations Supported Solutions Forum, and interoperability between network-attached storage and storage over IP is on the horizon.
The forum, or SSF, which debuted its first offerings six months ago from storage vendors Compaq Computer Corp., EMC Corp., Hitachi Data Systems Inc. and IBM and from switch makers Brocade Communications Systems and McData Corp., on Tuesday announced its newest supported solution.
The new solution uses Compaq and IBM servers and storage; IBMs Tivoli backup and recovery functions; Emulex Corp., JNI Corp. and Qlogic Corp. host bus adapters; and a Brocade fabric switch.
But its the NAS/iSCSI interoperability that is the next big thing for the SSF, said Michael Harrison, director of business alliances for IBM storage.
"One of the logical follow-ons for us to be focused on is the interconnectivity and interoperability between SAN and NAS. Theres a general agreement in the industry for both to co-exist. In fact, customers are going to demand it," Harrison said.
That functionality should be ready in about six months, he said. The current holdups are twofold: making gateways where SCSI, Fibre Channel and ESCON (enterprise systems connection) connectors share data headers, trailers and block compressions with NAS file servers; and making management software that handles both SAN blocks and NAS files.
Harrison declined to say whom the participating NAS vendors –other than IBM -- would be, but there already are several major NAS vendors in SNIAs SSF, including Compaq, EMC and Network Appliance Inc.
Like the initial supported solutions, this weeks solution also involves the associations vendors agreeing to support each others products, SNIA officials said. The products are tested at laboratories run by SNIA, based in Mountain View, Calif., and Colorado Springs, Colo.