AppAssure Software Inc. Replay 4

Storage Networking Equipment

Gold Award:

Virtual Instruments SANInsight TAP Patch Panel System

Virtual Instruments (VI) is well known for its SAN infrastructure performance optimization products, and its SANInsight Traffic Access Point (TAP) Patch Panel System takes top honors in the networking category. Its unique integration of fiber-optic network TAPs into a patch panel enclosure allows Fibre Channel (FC) SAN administrators to accelerate SAN problem identification and resolution, optimize virtual or physical infrastructure application availability and performance, and increase resource utilization.

According to Virtual Instruments, combining network TAPs with fiber-optic patch panels will dramatically simplify and lower the deployment of network TAPs into new and existing fiber-optic networks.

The TAPs use passive, non-intrusive fiber-optic splitters to collect data for real-time FC SAN cabling monitoring. This provides immediate access to all network traffic without any downtime or disruption of the live environment.

Its modular design includes up to four high-density cassettes providing support for up to 48 patch links in a standard 1U rack unit, and the cassettes fit many third-party shelves and enclosures. The cassettes support both LC and MT adapters for multiple cabling schemes. It works with all FC storage and host bus adapter (HBA), cabling and switch products, and integrates with heterogeneous SAN environments. The VI TAP Patch Panel supports 1 Gbps, 2 Gbps, 4 Gbps, 8 Gbps and 10 Gbps transmission rates.

The VI TAP Patch Panel can be deployed as a standalone product or used as a replacement for standard fiber-optic patch panels. According to VI, it's also commonly used in conjunction with either an FC protocol analyzer or FC monitoring probe. The cost of acquiring the integrated patch panel and TAPs system is approximately 15% more than the installed cost of an untapped patch panel system.

The judges gave the VI SANInsight TAP Patch Panel System high scores for innovation and value. One judge said the VI TAP Patch Panel System is "a unique FC monitoring and management tool," and commented on the system's great operational value if there's a network-based storage problem. Another judge predicted the VI TAP Patch Panel System will "rapidly become a must have for the very high-end enterprise."

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