Cisco beefs up network-based SAN services

Posted on January 14, 2010

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By Kevin Komiega

-- Cisco today released the Data Mobility Manager (DMM) migration appliance and the Storage Services Node-16 (SSN-16), a new 16-port line card that turns the Cisco MDS 9000 family of Fibre Channel storage switches into a platform for delivering storage services to any device on the fabric.

The SSN-16, available now through Cisco and its partners, supports up to four storage services simultaneously, with up to 16 Gigabit Ethernet ports.

The SSN-16 essentially consolidates Cisco's existing fabric-based SAN services onto a single card. The services include I/O acceleration for improving performance of backup and replication over WANs and MANs, the encryption of data as it is written tape, SAN extension via FCIP for connecting two or more fabrics over a WAN link, and secure LUN erasure.

Bob Nusbaum, a product line manager with Cisco, says the SSN-16 represents the next step in Cisco's Services-Oriented SAN (SOS) strategy.

"This is a new platform for scaling storage services in the fabric. Leveraging the network as a delivery platform will be the most cost-effective way to deploy services as fabrics grow," says Nusbaum. "Virtualization and unified fabrics are driving more traffic to the SAN. Network-based services help mitigate [the challenges of growth] and ensure that SAN services won't be a gating factor to the adoption of these technologies."

In addition to the SSN-16, Cisco is now packaging its Data Mobility Manager (DMM) data migration software as an appliance. The appliance is aimed at one-off, tactical migration projects when arrays are being refreshed, or larger LUNs are needed.

Nusbaum says Cisco is targeting the appliance at VARs and systems integrators to provide migration services to their customers.

The DMM appliance, which is comprised of a DMM software license and the Cisco MDS 9222i intelligent fabric switch,  allows for migrations to be performed while data is still in use, eliminating the need for downtime during the migration process.

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