Finisar Sharpens SAN Testing Tool

SAN QoS 2.0 adds new features for alarms and thresholds.

Network testing tools maker Finisar Corp. on Wednesday will announce SAN QoS 2.0, officials said.

"It basically allows you to collect data on a link, and it allows you to connect statistical data," explained Bob Otis, vice president of engineering at the Sunnyvale, Calif., company.

The half-rack system, previously in version 1.1, has new features for alarms and thresholds, plus logging of physical layer events. The product is for Windows systems; support for Solaris will come in November, he said.

The new features are accomplished through probes that can be anywhere in a storage fabric, Otis said. Essentially, that allows SAN QoS 2.0 to work across a wide-area network and to use policies with live traffic.

"A long-term plan is to start integrating trace analysis features with the probe," Otis said. In future versions, the system will log each event—not just a count of the events, he added. Also in the future, Finisar hopes to work with array and switching vendors, he said.

Bob Comer, a capacity planner at Verizon Communications Inc., used the former SAN QoS 1.0 to troubleshoot problems with his 25-TB SAN. The network has EMC Corp. and Hitachi Inc. storage, attached to servers from Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM and Sun Microsystems Inc. "We had a connectivity problem. We were trying to determine why when we added storage to a host, the storage could not see it," he said. That was about a year ago; today, "We use it periodically when were experiencing performance problems," he said.

Comer, in Irvine, Texas, likes Finisars 2.0 plans. "We would like to be able to do that," he said, referring to managing multiple network segments through one console. "Im not at the data center, so for me to switch I have to drive seven miles to switch ports," he said.

But the product could stand improvement in other areas, too, Comer said. On his list is a wrap-around trace feature that doesnt require manual switching of segments, plus interface with SAN management tools. Hed also like an easier way to determine which disk the system is examining. The current way is too cryptic, he said.

SAN QoS 2.0 is available Oct. 12. It costs $9,500 for one probe, and $9,500 for portal software, which can attach to 19 probes. Traffic viewing software costs $995 per license. A portable version, built on a laptop computer, costs $13,500, with the portal and viewing software included.

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