News Release

Cisco Continues its Push into the Storage Networking Market with Completion of Interoperability Testing in Key Storage Environments

Multiple Storage and Storage Management Vendors Qualify Cisco ONS 15540 and Cisco SN 5420
Oct 22, 2001

ORLANDO, Fla., October 22, 2001 - Cisco Systems, Inc., the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, today announced that the Cisco ONS 15540 Extended Services Platform and the Cisco SN 5420 Storage Router, both key storage networking platforms, have completed interoperability tests in numerous storage and storage management environments. Several vendors -- Brocade, Intel, McData, and VERITAS -- have qualified the Cisco storage networking solutions as fully interoperable with their respective solutions.

The Cisco ONS 15540 is Cisco's high-end metro dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) platform. It is the enabling technology in the "Storage over Metro Optical" solution area of the Cisco Storage Networking Initiative. The Cisco SN 5420 Storage Router is the world's first commercially available networking platform based on the iSCSI (Internet Small Computer Systems Interface) protocol. It is the enabling technology in Cisco's "IP Access to Storage" solution area.

The Cisco Storage Networking Initiative and its four solution areas outline Cisco's comprehensive strategies for unifying data and storage networks, which lowers customers' total cost of owning and managing storage as part of their overall IT infrastructure. The initiative is based on Cisco AVVID (Architecture for Voice, Video and Integrated Data), an open, standards-based architecture that defines how companies can integrate technologies such as storage networking seamlessly into an underlying network foundation.

Details of the testing results are:

New Cisco ONS 15540 Tests and Qualifications

Brocade: The Cisco ONS 15540 has been verified by Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. as interoperable with Brocade-based Storage Area Networking (SAN) infrastructure in testing conducted through the Brocade Fabric Aware Program, an end-to-end interoperability initiative for enterprise SANs. The program is a comprehensive testing and configuration initiative designed to foster end-to-end SAN interoperability in multi-vendor, Brocade-based SAN environments.

By internetworking SANs over metro optical networks, companies can implement highly available business continuance solutions such as data mirroring, data replication, electronic tape vaulting, and remote server clustering.

The Cisco ONS 15540 is an ideal solution for SAN-to-SAN interconnectivity that leverages the performance and ultra-high bandwidth available in metropolitan-area optical networks. To ensure the highest availability for business-critical systems and applications running over these optical networks, Cisco is working close with storage networking industry leaders such as Brocade to verify interoperability between Cisco DWDM products and Brocade SAN infrastructure, enabling business continuance applications such as data mirroring, data replication, electronic tape vaulting, and remote server clustering.

New Cisco SN 5420 Storage Router Tests and Qualifications

Tests involving the Cisco SN 5420 Storage Router are intended to ensure that customers will be able to integrate iSCSI easily with popular storage and storage management solutions. Cisco is also working with these companies to define configuration "best practices" or guidelines that make iSCSI-based storage networking even easier to deploy.

Brocade: After extensive joint testing with Cisco, Brocade qualified the Cisco SN 5420 Storage Router to be interoperable with the industry-leading Brocade SilkWorm. family of fabric switches, providing IP access to Fibre Channel SANs from branch offices to access SAN-based storage applications.

Intel: To showcase the benefits of an iSCSI solution with TCP-offload capabilities in the hosts (servers and workstations), Cisco and Intel Corporation built, tested, and demonstrated a network featuring the Cisco SN 5420 and the Intel PRO/1000 T IP Storage Adapter, an iSCSI-optimized Gigabit Ethernet network interface card (NIC). This solution was first demonstrated at the Networld + Interop technical conference earlier this year. and will be replicated at a multi-booth demo at Storage Networking World in Orlando involving Cisco, IBM, and Intel.

McDATA: Cisco and McDATA completed systems verification tests of the Cisco SN 5420 with the McDATA 3000 Series Fabric Switches, the ES-3016 and the ES-3032, as part of a fully integrated, enterprise-class storage networking. The OpenReadyTM iSAN Solution integrates iSCSI with existing storage networking technologies to extend the benefits of accessing high-performance storage area networks (SANs) to more corporate servers, including low- to mid-tiered ones. For more information, please read McData's announcement today.

VERITAS: Addressing iSCSI integration into storage management products, Cisco and VERITAS have been performing interoperability tests between the Cisco SN 5420 with VERITAS Volume Manager and VERITAS NetBackup for Windows NT, Windows 2000, and Sun Solaris operating system environments. Thus far, VERITAS has qualified the Cisco SN 5420 as interoperable with the VERITAS Volume Manager and VERITAS NetBackup for Windows NT. VERITAS qualification for Volume Manager and NetBackup for Windows 2000 and Solaris is pending.

Previous Tests and Qualifications

The new qualifications for both the Cisco ONS 15540 and the Cisco SN 5420 Storage Router are the latest successes in an on-going program at Cisco to ensure interoperability between Cisco's storage networking solutions with the most-critical storage and storage management environments. Including the qualifications announced today, the Cisco ONS 15540 and the Cisco SN 5420 Storage Router are now qualified as fully interoperable with nine storage and storage management vendors, with more qualifications expected soon. For a list and description of previous announcements, please visit and click on the link headlined "Previous Tests and Qualifications for Cisco ONS 15540 and Cisco SN 5420 Storage Router."