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McData adds LUN management to SANavigator tool

Kevin Komiega

The data center isn't the easiest landscape to navigate, but McData Corp. is mapping its way to better SAN management.

The Broomfield, Colo., switch maker announced Monday the availability of SANavigator 3.5, the latest version of its storage network management software. The company said SANavigator 3.5 features enhanced security, extended asset management and improved diagnostic capabilities compared with previous versions of the software.

McData also touted the customizable user interface of version 3.5. Users can now change the look and feel of SANavigator to match their needs.

Security enhancements include multi-vendor fabric zoning, multi-vendor LUN management and role-based user access. McData has also extended its reach in the data center to include emerging IP storage protocols. SANavigator 3.5 supports FC/IP and iSCSI routers used in conjunction with Fibre Channel SANs.

"We're providing the ability to discover IP gateways. [SANavigator 3.5] allows for discovery of IP routers from Nishan Systems, Cisco Systems and CNT," said Matt Vawter, senior product marketing manager.

Vawter said that, while McData does not think IP storage will have a huge presence, at least initially, the company wants to accommodate the technologies before they reach the mass market.

Nancy Marrone, senior analyst with Enterprise Storage Group Inc., Milford, Mass., said SANavigator's original mandate was to put out a new software revision every six

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months and that the ".5" releases add feature sets for ease of use.

Marrone said McData has to do some catching up with competing SAN management software. "Although this release does enable LUN management, which is a substantial task for SAN managers and makes the SANavigator tool much more valuable to the user, they still do not have the automated provisioning piece," she said.

McData has created a separate software group that covers the SANavigator software and its switch management platform.

"Currently, the SANavigator solution is not really affecting the sales of McData switches," Marrone said. "When [McData] achieves a better integration of the solutions and provides automated, policy-based provisioning, it will become more of a solutions sell. Right now, they are trying to sell the bundle of SANavigator and EFC Manager to their OEMs and have met with mixed reaction, as expected."

Marrone said McData's software group will be heavily involved in developing future management solutions that will reside on the switch. "We may see the SANavigator solutions being integrated in at some level, but that remains to be seen at this time," she said.

McData acquired SANavigator from Western Digital Corp. in September 2001 for $29.75 million and made it part of McData's Enterprise Solutions Architecture. At that time, McData said it would bring its customers integrated software for "core-to-edge" storage fabrics.

Let us know what you think about the story. E-mail Kevin Komiega, News Writer

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