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SAN switches get smarter
This article is part of the Vol. 1 No. 4 June 2002 issue of Storage magazine
The intelligent switch, which is currently creating a lot of buzz in the field of storage networking, dates back to the 1980s in the field of telephony. It made its first appearance in voice networks as a means of automating certain aspects of network management, such as provisioning and call handling, to lower administrative costs. Similarly, when data networks became ubiquitous in the mid-1990s, the intelligent switch once again appeared. In this incarnation, the main purpose of the intelligent switch was to reduce the complexity of network management by automating certain functions. But, the intelligence in the switches was, initially, rudimentary at best. However, over time, the intelligent switch evolved into the super smart routing switches that are available today from vendors such as Extreme Networks, Foundry Networks, and Riverstone Networks. As storage networks become more complex, the concept of the intelligent switch is again being pressed into service. And, as was the case with local area networks (LANs), vendors ...