McData Intrepid 10000 (i10K) Director

Storage management software

Silver Award:

Finisar NetWisdom Enterprise

Most SAN monitoring products provide insight into storage capacities, utilization and topology, but don't provide deep visibility into SAN data paths or analyze problems on a per-application, per-IO basis. Finisar Corp.'s NetWisdom Enterprise monitors individual ports in a Fibre Channel (FC) SAN at the IO transaction packet level, providing real-time and historical insight into application latency and bandwidth consumption. The product can help SAN administrators pinpoint the root causes of SAN issues, such as link and device failures, and congested links.

Our judges unanimously agree that the product delivers a valuable benefit for certain SAN administrators. "A nice Fibre Channel SAN performance monitoring tool," says one. "Mostly of value to large, complex SAN environments," points out another, who likes that "as an agentless solution, NetWisdom Enterprise is easy to deploy."

Pricing for a software-only version, called NetWisdom Express, starts at $12,995. The full enterprise suite, which includes 4 Gb FC probes and NetWisdom software, starts at less than $25,000. Where the judges disagree was on how firms would view the product's price. One judge says the product's "visibility into the fabric is valuable and currently not available at such a low entry price." Another disagrees: "For enterprises that really need to know what is going on in their SAN, the tool is indispensable, but pricey."

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