By Heidi Biggar
MaXXan claims it is beginning to gain some traction with its intelligent switching platform, particularly in the area of disaster recovery.
In December, MaXXan announced support of FalconStor's IPStor 4.0 storage management software suite, which, among other things, provides expanded disaster-recovery functionality, including compression, encryption, advanced replication, and bare-metal recovery support. The software is embedded in MaXXan's MXV320 switch and SA100 storage appliance.
"We launched our switch with IPStor 2.6, but we still needed compression, encryption, etc. This is a big jump," says Ravi Chalaka, vice president of marketing at MaXXan.
In addition to expanded disaster-recovery functionality, MaXXan touts added support for a variety of storage services, including capacity-on-demand, real-time data migration, backup-and-recovery acceleration, zero-impact backup, real-time virus scanning, and remote-monitoring services. The features are all enabled by IPStor 4.0.
MaXXan also has a partnership with Veritas to develop embedded application processing cards for its line of switches and appliances. MaXXan currently supports Veritas NetBackup.
According to Chalaka, 60% of MaXXan's switch sales last quarter were to users specifically looking for disaster-recovery capability. The remaining 40% were sold to users looking for file-serving and storage consolidation services.
While the market for intelligent fabric-based switches is still in its infancy, vendors such as Brocade, Cisco, and MaXXan expect user interest in this technology to increase over the coming months as intelligent fabric switches become more generally available and application support for the products increases.
By moving application intelligence off hosts and storage subsystems into the storage network on switches or other devices (e.g., controllers and appliances), users are expected to benefit from easier SAN deployment, management, and scalability, as well as potentially lower costs.
In the case of disaster recovery, fabric-based intelligence can perhaps help companies use less equipment, pre-installed software, and heterogeneous disk systems to protect their data on-site and at remote locations. In doing so, they can potentially reduce their total cost of ownership.