Finisar Eliminates SAN Fabric Blindness with New Product Set

The company introduces "deep" SAN monitoring and analysis software and services aimed to improve application availability in enterprise data centers.

Fiber optics and SAN test and measurement provider Finisar on Nov. 16 unveiled its NetWisdom Enterprise, a family of SAN monitoring and analysis products and services that storage administrators can use to increase application availability in enterprise environments.

NetWisdom Enterprise was created to eliminate so-called "fabric blindness," or the inability to look deeply into the SAN to diagnose, analyze and prevent outages and brownouts that plague todays complex, multi-vendor data centers, said Dave Buse, a Finisar senior vice president.

The new software, hardware, and services suite provides real-time and historical insight into application latency and bandwidth consumption, early detection of link and device failures, congestion, errors and advanced notification of other SAN problems.

If undetected, these problems can cause network downtime, application slowdown, and ultimately revenue loss for global enterprises, Buse said.

"Its ironic that the largest, most sophisticated IT shops in the world are the ones most likely to have hidden problems," said Steve Duplessie, founder and chief analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group.

"The issue is visibility—or the absolute lack thereof. We have no idea what issues we have, and where, most of the time. When you add virtual services into the infrastructure, you only compound the problem. Its like driving blind; you can wing it for a while, but sooner or later you will hit something."

While current SAN monitoring solutions such as SAN Fabric Management, SRM/Storage Management and Framework Management solutions provide insight into storage capacities, utilizations and topology, they do not provide deep visibility into SAN data paths or analysis capabilities on a per application, per I/O basis, Buse said.

"Finisar NetWisdom Enterprise is the only comprehensive solution that looks at traffic inline and monitors each individual port at the I/O transaction packet level," Buse said. "This allows administrators to pinpoint the root cause of critical known or hidden issues."

/zimages/6/28571.gifClick here to read more about Fibre Channel SANs being put to the test.

In addition to detecting failed devices, NetWisdom Enterprise also analyzes deteriorated devices, congested links and other errors that cause brownouts or slowdowns.

NetWisdom Enterprise solutions include SAN-wide fabric level monitoring, end-to-end link and protocol level monitoring, protocol level trace analysis, a trending database and an intuitive user interface. These essential functions are required to eliminate "fabric blindness," Buse said.

Finisar also offers its state-of-the-art SAN monitoring, diagnosis and analysis technologies as service offerings, for those businesses who lack in-house expertise. These services are offered on-demand or at predetermined intervals.

Finisar delivers NetWisdom Enterprise software and services through a global ecosystem of partners—including IBM.

"Combined with IBM storage and fabric equipment, Finisar NetWisdom Enterprise products enable an industry unique solution for SAN maintenance and performance tuning," said Steve Boettcher, director, data and storage services at IBM Global Technology Services.

"This IBM GS/Finisar joint solution will enable customers to consistently and continuously monitor and enhance the availability of their SANs, as well as providing vital information for smooth change management."

NetWisdom Enterprise services are available now, the spokesperson said.

Fast facts on Finisar

Finisar, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., is a $400 million global, publicly traded company with 4,200 employees that claims to be the worlds largest supplier of pluggable optical modules and a market leader in 1G Ethernet (LAN) and 2/4G Fibre Channel (SAN) optical transceivers, and in storage protocol analysis and traffic generation.

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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...