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Vol. 2 No. 9 November 2003

New directions for switches

Verify switch vendor claims Rule No. 1: Test, test and test some more. Unless it's a one-vendor system, every storage environment is different. Vendors can certify their products with major storage products, but they can't possibly check every possible configuration with a storage area network (SAN). In other words, you're responsible for determining if a vendor's Fibre Channel (FC) switch works as advertised. McData Corp., Broomfield, CO, continues to advertise that its directors support five-nines of availability. Yet some field engineers report that the McData directors they support lock up under certain conditions. Brocade Communications Systems, in San Jose, CA, hasn't escaped user dissatisfaction either. Some users complain about the number of inter-switch links (ISLs) required to tie together multiple Brocade departmental switches, the time required to perform firmware upgrades on multiple switches and they also express concern about what they perceive as Brocade's initial failings in the high end of the market. Nancy ...

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Features in this issue

  • Defragmenting Disks Falls by the Wayside

    The deal on disk fragmenting

  • Too many SAN islands

    by  Jeff Moad

    One of the main challenges to growing SANs is the proliferation of independent SAN islands. We look at how and why a multinational financial services company consolidated many islands into larger ones, but stopped short of a single, unified SAN.

  • Sane strategies for SAN growth

    What's the right way to design storage networks for growth? There's no simple answer to that question, but understanding the implications of storage- or network-centric approaches will help you make the right choices.

  • New directions for switches

    With all of the recent acquisitions and new partnerships forming this year, finding the right Fibre Channel switch for you is even more confusing. This article will help you chose the right one.

Columns in this issue