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Vol. 5 No. 3 May 2006

Cisco's monster director pushes port envelope

WHEN IT COMES to director-class switches, Cisco's new director is a behemoth. Announced last month, the MDS 9513 packs in a maximum of 528 ports. That number comes by way of Cisco's new 48-port 1/2/4Gb/sec switch modules. Other 4Gb/sec switch modules are available in 24- and 12-port increments, are fully compatible with other Cisco director chassis (the 9505 and 9509) and will ship this month, says Paul Dul, Cisco's director of product management. With the new 48-port module, Cisco's older 9509 chassis goes to 336 ports, the next biggest director on the market. Brocade's and McData's brawniest directors (SilkWorm 48000 and Intrepid 10000, respectively) offer a maximum of 256 ports. "We're seeing more and more consolidation across the data center," says Dul, whether it's servers, arrays and, now, directors. Large directors provide a lower cost per port and result in fewer stranded ports, fewer ports wasted on inter-switch links and fewer systems to manage, he says. But Cisco's competitors pooh-pooh this mega-director approach. "...

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Features in this issue

  • Quality Awards: Top NAS products

    In the latest Diogenes Labs-Storage Quality Awards survey, users chose enterprise and midrange NAS winners from more than 20 product lines. A NAS mainstay and a relative newcomer to the category took the top honors.

  • Keep end-user storage in check

    With free e-mail services offering up to 2GB of storage, it's tough to convince corporate e-mail users that mailbox limits are needed. But companies are realizing that user storage quotas are a necessary evil.

  • Windows NAS gets gussied up

  • Single-pane storage management

    Managing a heterogeneous storage environment means juggling a hodgepodge of vendor-specific tools. Some vendors are working toward a consolidated management console, but standards are needed for single-pane storage management to become a reality.

  • Vendor support falls short

    A recent survey from TheInfoPro shows that storage vendors' support of their products is still a sore point among users. The good news is that some vendors are finally paying attention.

  • New tape formats are bigger, faster & safer

    Tape capacities and data transfer rates are growing, but before you get hooked on the speeds and feeds, there are several key points worth considering.

Columns in this issue

  • Disaster Recovery Extra: Editorial

  • ILM isn't just tiered storage

    by  James Damoulakis

    Storage tiers are the first step toward true information lifecycle management. But they're only a small step—the key to ILM success is aligning your data with its business value.

  • Vendors need to create products specifically for SMBs

    Storage Bin: All too often, storage vendors treat small- to medium-sized businesses as second-class citizens. SMBs have the same needs as enterprises, so rather than giving them hand-me-downs, vendors need to create products specifically for this group. Vendors just might find that those products have the features that enterprises want, too.

  • Storage tears

    Storage tears

  • Data storage security trends

    by  Jon Oltsik

    2005 was a big year for storage security, with major vendors doing more than just paying lip service. Vendors are beginning to integrate security into new products or add encryption capabilities. But there's a lot more to do in 2006 to build a secure storage infrastructure.