SAN JOSE, Calif., May 14, 2002 - Cisco Systems, Inc. today announced the availability of the Cisco SN 5428 Storage Router, an innovative storage networking platform that incorporates both IP and Fibre Channel switching technologies. This integrated solution allows enterprise workgroups to cost effectively migrate from direct attached storage (DAS) to storage area network (SAN) environments.
Enterprise workgroups, which include corporate departments and small/medium-sized businesses, previously have been largely unable to enjoy the benefits of storage consolidation because of the cost and complexity involved in setting up a SAN. By combining iSCSI/IP and Fibre Channel technologies, the Cisco SN 5428 lets these organizations use well-known and understood IP networking concepts to take advantage of all the performance and feature benefits of storage consolidation, at a significant cost savings to previous methods. Benefits include easier management, more efficient storage utilization, and centralized backup - all resulting in increased business resilience and lowered total cost of ownership.
"IDC believes that the next phase of SAN adoption will occur for small and medium-size organizations where top-of-the-line performance is seldom a goal and extended life of today's technologies is an important business objective to manage costs," said Robert Gray, research director at IDC, "By combining IP/GbE interfaces for midrange servers connectivity and Fibre Channel ports for storage and high-end server connection, the Cisco SN 5428 uniquely addresses the needs of the workgroup SAN market and will accelerate SAN adoption in this space."
The Cisco SN 5428 is a multi-protocol storage networking platform offering two Gigabit Ethernet ports, for connectivity to standard TCP/IP networks, and eight 1 or 2-gigabit Fibre Channel fabric switch ports with integrated components from QLogic Corp. These Fibre Channel ports support switch fabric features such as E_port connectivity and zoning or can be used simply as a direct interface for tape and disk-based storage devices.
The support for both iSCSI and Fibre Channel in the Cisco SN 5428 gives customers who do not have extensive SAN expertise the ability to build and manage storage networks using their familiarity with IP-networking tools such as SNMP-based management, IPSec, and Quality of Service (QoS). For organizations with more Fibre Channel expertise, the Cisco SN 5428 provides them the flexibility to incorporate more advanced Fibre Channel technology features to build and manage multi-layer, multi-protocol storage networks.
"To meet our growing storage needs, we needed to move to a consolidated storage pool. Only the Cisco SN 5428 allowed us to keep our servers on the IP network using iSCSI and using Fibre Channel to connect our new pool of disk storage. Keeping our servers on the IP network allowed us to greatly reduce the cost of our SAN implementation," said Chris McMahan, CIO at Wireless Retail, Inc. "And because the Cisco SN 5428 is based on familiar IP technology, we are able to incorporate our knowledge of IP network management and performance tools for use in this SAN."
Wireless Retail is the nation's largest specialty retailer of wireless products and services who has been using the Cisco SN 5428 at its headquarters in Scottsdale, AZ. Supporting a company with over 3800 employees, the Wireless Retail IT department turned to the Cisco SN 5428 to migrate data from nearly 20 midrange servers, all with direct attached storage running applications such as email, groupware, database systems, financial software, and custom-designed tools to a single, centrally managed storage subsystem.
The Cisco SN 5428 includes intelligent network services such as advanced security, VLANs, and QoS to help to make storage networks more scalable, secure, and manageable. Addressing security and reliability, the Cisco SN 5428 includes support for well-known and understood IP-based measures such as RADIUS and TACACS+ authentication, access control lists, VLANs and VLAN Trunking Protocol, and support for high-availability clusters. In addition, the Cisco SN 5428 supports traditional SAN security features such as LUN Mapping, LUN Masking, and Fibre Channel zoning.
The Cisco SN 5428 works with Cisco's industry-leading breadth of iSCSI drivers available for Microsoft Windows 2000 and NT, Sun Solaris, HP-UX, IBM AIX, and several flavors of Linux operating systems. This driver support is key to deploying this technology across heterogeneous server environments that many customers have today.
Turnkey VAR Solution SetsTo offer the Cisco SN 5428 as part of a complete, easy-to-deploy SAN solution, Cisco has developed a program with top storage value-add resellers (VARs) to create pre-packaged solution sets, which have all been tested and qualified through the Imation Storage Networking Lab at Oakdale, Minn. Each midrange application set will include the Cisco SN 5428 and all necessary storage and SAN components. For more information about these VAR solution sets, please visit CCO.
"Customers, especially in smaller organizations, do not necessarily have the time or familiarity with storage networking products to be able to individually evaluate and choose all of the required pieces of a whole storage network," said Scott Robinson, chief technology officer at Datalink Corporation, a Minneapolis-based VAR. "Through this program with Cisco, we will be able to provide our customers with additional connectivity and flexibility in their storage environments, allowing smaller departments and servers to tie into the power of a storage networking infrastructure."