App brings data management to storage area networks

App brings data management to storage area networks

Exabyte's Netstorm lets organizations

By Florence Olsen

GCN Staff

Exabyte Corp. soon will ship Java server-based management software for storage area networks.

Exabyte's Netstorm software sends Simple Network Management Protocol messages to manage SANs end to end, 'from the server to the storage unit and all devices in between,' said Steven Georgis, director of technology and business development for Exabyte of Boulder, Colo.

Few companies yet have management software for SAN devices, and users are waiting for standards to solidify before deploying SANs, Georgis said.

Exabyte's Netstorm complements data management software from companies such as Veritas Software Corp. of Mountain View, Calif., which sells high-availability Veritas Cluster Server storage management software for mixed Unix, Novell NetWare and Microsoft Windows NT SANs.

Organizations that central their backups over LANs can offload the chore onto SANs, which are secondary networks dedicated to storage, Georgis said.

In the 24-hour Internet environment, he said, organizations cannot back up servers across the LAN without hurting their uptime.

Second-hand system

The alternative to centralized backup'running individual backup devices for each server'is equally unsatisfactory, Georgis said. 'It has become a problem in big organizations, which have people whose job it is just to swap out tapes,' he said.

In the government, SANs will be deployed for archiving, too, he said.

Exabyte has made its X200 Arrowhead tape libraries SAN-ready and has formed partnerships with Fibre Channel network hardware and backup software vendors.

It has finished integration and interoperability testing with: Fibre Channel host bus adapters from Emulex Corp. and QLogic Corp., both of Costa Mesa, Calif.; Fibre Channel hubs from Vixel Corp. of Bothell, Wash.; Fibre Channel switches from Gadzoox Networks Inc. and Brocade Communications Systems Inc., both of San Jose, Calif.; backup software from Computer Associates International Inc., Legato Systems Inc. of Palo Alto, Calif., Seagate Software Inc. of Scotts Valley, Calif., and Veritas Software Corp. of Mountain View, Calif.; and framework management software from Tivoli Systems Inc. of Austin, Texas.

Each of the interoperable Fibre Channel networking components and tape libraries has a dedicated out-of-band SNMP management port.

Although Georgis called SANs 'a real integration challenge today,' so too were LANs 10 years ago.

None of the leading networking companies is involved in storage area networking, Georgis said. '3Com Corp. was the first to get in, but it got out,' he said.''

Exabyte's SAN-ready Arrowhead mixed tape libraries accept Exabyte Mammoth tape, digital linear tape from Quantum Corp. of Milpitas, Calif., and the new Linear Tape Open cartridges made by IBM Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and others.

The Netstorm software, upgradeable by downloading Java server components, will cost $9,995 per SAN. Georgis said Exabyte sells its products on about 25 federal contracts. Its largest federal customers are NASA and the FBI, he said.

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