InterSAN pioneers SAM technology

Posted on July 01, 2001

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BY LISA COLEMAN

This fall, InterSAN expects to deliver the first enterprise-class storage area management (SAM) product that is based on a technology designed for managing the application path to storage. "SAM" is a term coined by the Gartner Group consulting firm.

InterSAN's Virtual Private DataPath (VPD) technology establishes and manages the relationship between an application and its storage. According to InterSAN officials, VPD abstracts complex, heterogeneous storage networking resources for provisioning, managing, and monitoring all storage required by an application based on service levels.

"A lot of people want to bring out SAN [storage area network] virtualization architectures," says John Webster, senior analyst at Illuminata, a consulting and research firm in Nashua, NH. "And one of the essential things they'll need is the ability to go into the SAN fabric and discover what's out there-both physically and logically-and map it, associate it, and maybe automate the functioning of the fabric itself. That's what InterSAN's technology will help people do."

InterSAN's beta version was to be released this month, with general availability scheduled for the September/ October time frame, according to Karen Dutch, director of product marketing at InterSAN.

"We need to make it possible to manage more with less," says Chris Melville, co-founder, CEO, and president of InterSAN. "It takes a real paradigm shift to move away from bottom-up bolt-on device management to true top-down high-level abstractions."


InterSAN's Virtual Private DataPath technology establishes and manages the relationship between an application, its storage, and multi-protocol switches, storage virtualizers, and security.
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VPD technology relates an application to its data, multi-protocol switches, heterogeneous storage, storage virtualizers, and security. It provides application data path management, automated storage provisioning, and service-level management.

"Instead of device-based management, we're managing the application path to the storage," says Christina Merceir, Inter SAN's co-founder and chief technology officer.

"If a switch goes down, for example, you immediately know which application is affected and who owns it," she adds.

VPD uses intelligent automated storage provisioning to improve resource uti-lization. Users can provision storage to particular applications, and VPD will then find all the appropriate paths through the infrastructure and choose the optimal path.

In addition, InterSAN's technology lets users set policies for high reliability and high-performance paths and monitor them. Users can also track performance levels and availability, according to Melville.

While VPD does abstract storage resources, it is not virtualization technology, says Merceir. While virtualizers are usually based in the data path and concentrate on merging multiple volumes of data together, VPD technology is not in the data path. "We discover all the infrastructure and create a logical connection between the applications and storage and do settings to each of the devices to guarantee a secure path," adds Merceir. While virtualizers tend to be in only one network fabric, VPD can span multiple fabrics. However, VPD is compatible with virtualizers.

Scotts Valley, CA-based InterSAN was incorporated in January 2000 and recently received $7.8 million in a second round of funding.


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