Continuing a push to expand its reach in the storage marketplace, Brocade Communications Systems Inc. has introduced another solution in its Tapestry line of storage infrastructure management solutions and added several services designed to help end users optimize their storage networks and maximize their Wide Area File Services.
Adding to its Tapestry line, which has introduced modules focusing on server provisioning and file sharing in the past, Brocade, of San Jose, Calif., has introduced Brocade Data Migration Manager (DMM). Built on Brocades AP7420 intelligent switching platform and operated through a GUI (graphical user interface), DMM migrates massive amounts of data at the rate of about 1TB per hour.
DMM also is heterogeneous, allowing users to migrate data from a storage frame from one vendor to a storage frame from a second vendor, and allows users to restart migrations that may have been interrupted before finishing.
The best candidates for DMM, said Raj Das, Brocades director of product management, are companies that lease their storage frames instead of buying them outright. Other good candidates are those that migrate their data in order to implement ILM (information lifecycle management) and tiering of storage or service levels, because DMM provides an efficient way to migrate that data, he said.
With its DMM product, Brocade seems to be focusing on providing as much information as possible for planning purposes, something that could be very helpful, said Rick Villars, vice president of storage systems research at IDC Corp. of Framingham, Mass.
“When you think about data migration, the biggest hassles are pre- and post-planning processes to make the transition,” he said. “Part of the goal of this system is to give you more information so you can plan more effectively for your migration. There are a lot of resellers and implementers that will find that to be a very useful thing to have.”
But while DMM is a useful offering for many users, it is a more targeted use type of solution than other members of the Tapestry family, Villars said.
“While it might be good to have this capability, at any given time youre probably going to be using it in a relatively limited way,” he said.
Along with the DMM announcement, Brocade announced three new service offerings—services the company has long offered its larger companies on an ad hoc basis.
The SAN Design and Architecture Assessment, geared to users of the companys SilkWorm Fibre Channel offerings, helps guide users on how to optimize and set up their SANs (storage area network) in light of the new 4G technology.
A second offering, also geared toward SilkWorm users, is MetaSAN integration, which helps organizations determine how to best consolidate SANs.
“Weve found that our customers have innumerable numbers of SAN islands, and they are looking to take multiple isolated SAN fabrics and tie them into one integrated network,” Das said.
A third service, targeted toward the Tapestry family, helps users design and implement Brocades Wide Area File Services (WAFS), taking into account individual organizations branch office strategies.
Offering these services on a productized level is a good move for Brocade and may answer some of the needs storage users have today, Villars said.
“The services initiative is a reflection of significant adjustments to the thinking of some of the larger storage customers that really now want to have more independent networks, so they are looking to a Brocade or its competitors to be the direct supporter of the overall fabric,” he said.
In addition to these announcements, Brocade is announcing a new release of its SilkWorm Multiprotocol Router that interoperates with McDatas directors and switches while adding more support for SAN distance extensions over Wide Area Networks. Yet another announcement highlights a collaboration between Brocade, Emulex Corp. and Engenio Information Technologies to offer prequalified component packages designed to simplify the deployment of end-to-end 4GB/sec storage networks.