By Richard R. Lee
SAN Valley has joined a growing number of vendors evangelizing the benefits of IP-based storage area network (SAN) technology. The company's focus is on wide area network (WAN) and metropolitan area network (MAN) deployments where SAN traffic flows across the Internet infrastructure. SAN Valley officials believe that the challenges of enterprise SANs cannot be solved by storage vendors alone, but must be a collaboration among storage, networking, and telecommunications camps. To facilitate this, the company is developing a range of edge access routers that seamlessly connect SAN components over MAN and WAN environments, using IP as the transport protocol.
SAN Valley's edge routers enable the connection of Fibre Channel storage area networks over standard IP networks.
SAN Valley is another IP SAN startup that is enjoying the benefits of having Cisco as an equity investor. In the initial stages of developing its technology, SAN Valley has chosen to use a TCP encapsulation scheme that will provide the quickest method of getting to market. However, company officials have stated that once the IETF or other standards organizations standardize on a protocol set, the company will upgrade its installed base to be compatible with the standard. For now, SAN Valley is focused on bringing products to market quickly to help users solve the challenging issues of deploying enterprise SANs. SAN Valley expects to deliver its edge router products late this year.
SAN Valley has a vision of providing the capability of flowing SAN traffic across the Internet infrastructure. This is a bold vision that the entire SAN marketplace should be embracing, not just a few of the more visible startups. The IP and Fibre Channel communities must work together in an orderly fashion. It is quite possible that the startups offering bridging solutions similar to SAN Valley's will soon become subsidiaries of Fibre Channel infrastructure providers, or of larger network players such as Cisco.