My SAN consists of an EMC SYMM, Connectrix and Emulex LP8000 HBAs and I am looking to see if there is an alternative to using EMC's PowerPath. Are there any other products that offer similar functionality? Are there any products that offer the failover functions without the load balancing?
If you are running Solaris, you can use Veritas DMP or Sun Mpxio. Veritas is also creating a solution for NT and Win2K. Path failover software is used to provide load balancing and fault recovery for HBA failures. Most vendors use their own version of path failover software, which works only with their storage subsystems.
Since you most likely do not want to be using an unsupported solution, you should check with your SAN vendor for whose path management software is certified with their storage arrays.
Some OS vendors include path management in the OS. Tru64 Unix, Solaris and VMS have it built in. As time goes on, I think you will be seeing path management functionality for SANs built into most of the operating systems out there. The HBA vendors are also getting into the act. I know QLogic has a path fail over solution for Netware and JNI has a hardware based load balancing and fail over solution for NT, Windows 2000 and Solaris with their Zentai line of HBA adapters (this technology was recently purchased by JNI from Troika Networks).
Again, check with your storage vendor for supported solutions.
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This was first published in May 2002