Enabling storage area networks (SANs)to stretch across wide area networks (WANs) has thus far been inhibited by factors like high costs of Fibre Channel fabric directors and connectivity and protocol limitations of existing SAN routers. Entrada Networks said that its newest offering, unveiled this week, solves those problems and more. The San Diego, Calif., company said its new Silverline IP transport router will let OEMs and integrators leverage existing IP backbones for remote storage deployment by offering a complete array of connectivity interfaces in a single protocol-neutral, modular platform.
Silverline routers will provide support for extending Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP), Gigabit Ethernet and emerging iSCSI and FC-BB local SAN fabrics across public and private wide area (WAN), metro area (MAN) and local area (LAN) networks. Silverline will ultimately include access for a range of transport services, including T3, Gigabit Ethernet, ATM, SONET and OC-3/12/48.
"SAN over IP is the only reason we exist," said Michael Harris, vice president of Marketing for Entrada. "We take a technology agnostic approach to the ongoing battles between competing protocols." Harris said that Entrada would not side with a specific protocol, but will offer support for any and all emerging protocols, thus allowing Entrada to bridge the gap between markets.
"By supporting such data network interfaces such as OC-x, Gigabit Ethernet and ATM, the Entrada box can sit at the edge of a SAN without impacting the Fibre Channel fabric design," said William Hurley, program manager for the Boston-based analyst firm the Yankee Group. "Entrada can integrate the proposed protocols, iSCSI, FC-IP or the Nishan Systems solution, mature, yet, to complete with other vendors, CNT specifically, Entrada will have to do the hard homework of qualifying their product with storage applications such as IBM's PPRC or EMC's SRDF."
Entrada's first-generation Silverline routers will be shipped to OEMs in the first quarter of 2001and will support configurations of up to six networking ports: two Fibre Channel, two WAN/MAN and two LAN. Silverline routers will also include local and remote device management facilities for both in-band and out-of-band access and control.
"Entrada is relatively unique in its position versus others in the SAN over IP sector, they have built what appears to be a solid mid-range product that incorporates wide area connectivity. We also view the company's OEM-only marketing plan as unique. This tightly controlled configuration is flexible enough for the OEM and benefits Entrada by being able to garner economies of scale in the manufacturing process. With all the hype, this is one to watch," said Steve Duplessie, senior analyst, Enterprise Storage Group, Inc.For more information: Kevin Komiega, assistant news editor