SGI maps SAN plan
By Dave Simpson
In an attempt to leverage its traditional strengths in video environments, Silicon Graphics Inc. last month outlined its plan to capitalize on the transition from digital media storage area networks to enterprise SANs.
"Entertainment and digital media users are the early adopters of Fibre Channel SANs," says Mike Anderson, storage area network manager at SGI.
Anderson adds that other industries that may be early adopters of SANs are also key markets for SGI, including oil and gas, government, scientific imaging, data warehousing, and pre-press.
Within the next two months, SGI plans to deliver an integrated Fibre Channel fabric configuration for up to sixteen devices. Pricing is expected to start at $56,000.
In the same time frame, SGI plans to deliver its Failsafe 2.0 high availability software with eight-way failover capabilities. In the second quarter, the company is expected to deliver beta versions of its Active Consolidation Element (ACE), which will eliminate backup windows with LAN-free backup and restore capabilities (see diagram on page 18). Final shipments are due in the second half of the year. In the second half of 2000, SGI plans
to deliver heterogeneous file sharing between NT and Unix platforms.
Also on the SAN road map is integration of Fibre Channel networks with SGI`s Gigabyte System Network (GSN), an 800MBps network that is used primarily in government environments. GSN will function as a SAN backbone via GSN-to-Fibre Channel switches.
Anderson claims 80% to 90% of SGI`s installed disk storage is Fibre Channel. The company resells disk subsystems from Ciprico, Clariion and EMC.
Other partners in SGI`s SAN strategy include Prisa Networks for Fibre Channel host bus adapters; Ancor (via Prisa) and Brocade for switches; Emulex for hubs; Crossroads for Fibre Channel-to-SCSI bridges; and Veritas Software for storage management software.