Finisar, Ixia Roll Out Storage Testing Tools

Finisar launches storage modules for its new Xgig blade platform; Ixia announces a performance testing tool for iSCSI.

NEW YORK—Storage testing tools are evolving, to parallel the trend of storage-area networks becoming more of a mainstream technology and expanding from merely local to wide-area environments.

Companies such as Finisar Corp. and Ixia announced product upgrades and road maps here this week at the .

Finisar Wednesday launched storage modules for the new Xgig blade platform. "It allows you do to link debugging; it keeps track of low-level SAN and SCSI errors," said John Mattes, a product manager. "It has a post-processing expert debugger. Basically it can take a whole trace and it can tell you every single problem wrong on that link. It bridges the gap in knowledge people are required to have."

Xgig is intended to replace the Sunnyvale, Calif., companys older GTX family. A key new feature is extensive user help: More than 600 conditions can be flagged, officials said. Another new feature is that Xgigs blades can be user-customized for TCP/IP-based or Fibre Channel protocols, using field programmable gate arrays, they said.

Finisar is currently in talks with major storage manufacturers to establish OEM relationships, one of which will likely be announced this quarter, officials said, declining to name the partner.

An entry-level price example is $44,800 for a chassis, software and a two-port blade. Point upgrades this summer will include browser-based administration, with quality-of-service features due in the next six months to a year, officials said.

"A lot of it has to do with the maturity of the market. Were still unclear about what [companies] really want," Mattes said. For example, some high-end storage companies dont allow users to conduct direct performance analysis, he noted.

Xgig is already in use at the University of New Hampshires Interoperability Lab, officials added.

Ixia, for its part, Wednesday announced IxSAN, a performance testing tool for iSCSI, said Alon Regev, senior project manager, in Calabasas, Calif. The tool will ship in July starting at about $10,000, or about $40,000 for a four-port configuration, he said.