This month storage analyst Jerome Wendt's "Tech Report" takes look at intelligent switches. According to Charles Clark intelligent switches date back to the 1980s in the field of telephony. These switches made their 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.
But now they are back in a different form -- to help manage your large storage environments. According to Jerome, "switches bear the brunt of the changes in storage networks. They must simultaneously monitor and prioritize bandwidth for critical applications, handle storage management functions and secure access for all devices attached to the SAN. Putting these services in switches gives users multiple benefits."
Jerome notes those benefits include:
A host of familiars, Brocade, McData and Cisco are starting to provide more intelligence in the switch. But, some of the real innovation is coming from startups such as Maxxan, Sandial and Maranti.TECH REPORT
Webcast: Intelligent Switches: Practical or hype?
Storage magazine extra: Switch smarts
Additional information on Intelligent switches
Webcast: Growing and merging SANs creates levels of complexity that many of today's baseline Fibre Channel switches were never designed to handle. Deployed to referee connectivity between servers and storage, switches need more intelligence to manage the multifaceted performance, storage and security issues that large fabrics increasingly need to address. With storage management, performance and security functions slowly being migrating to switches, should storage managers consider the intelligent switch route? How should storage managers plan for intelligent switches and what products are available today? Jerome Wendt breaks through the hype and answers these questions.
For more information about intelligent switches, take a look at these SearchStorage.com resources:
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