News Release

Cisco Virtual SAN (VSAN) Technology Adopted as an Industry Standard

The ANSI INCITS T11 Technical Committee Selects VSAN as Technology for Building Virtual Fabrics
Nov 16, 2004

SAN JOSE, Calif., November 16, 2004 - Cisco today announced that the Technical Committee T11 of the InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS) has selected Cisco Virtual SAN (VSAN) technology for approval by the American National Standard Institute (ANSI) as the industry standard for deploying Virtual Fabrics, defined as the ability to segment a single, physical storage area network (SAN) fabric into many logical, completely independent SANs.

Cisco submitted several technology and research contributions to the INCITS T11 Technical Committee, the nation's primary Fibre Channel standards body, since joining the Committee. Claudio DeSanti, a Technical Leader in Cisco's Storage Technology Group, has served as Vice-Chair of the T11 Technical Committee since last November.

VSAN technology has been available to Cisco customers since the availability of the Cisco MDS 9000 Family of Multilayer Intelligent directors and fabric switches as part of the base features set. Cisco first submitted VSANs to the T11 Technical Committee for consideration as an industry standard last year. At the October T11 plenary meeting, three separate T11 working groups - the FC-FS-2, the FC-LS, and the FC-SW-4 working groups - approved the inclusion of Virtual Fabrics as part of each respective standard, officially completing the standardization process.

"We consider the standardization of VSAN technology to be a significant accomplishment, paralleling Cisco's pioneering efforts in the development of Virtual LAN technology as a data networking industry standard," said Tom Edsall, vice president and general manager of the Storage and Switching Technologies Group at Cisco Systems. "Just as the standardization of VLANs forever altered the landscape of data networks for the better, we expect the storage networking industry to now widely adopt VSANs to help storage administrators to build more scalable, reliable, and efficient SANs."

Electronic Arts (EA), the world's leading interactive entertainment software company, consolidated a number of its small, application-specific fabrics, or "SAN islands", onto larger fabrics built using VSANs available on its Cisco MDS 9509 directors. Through consolidation, EA is now able to manage a shared SAN infrastructure able to support and manage multiple applications, hosts (servers), and storage devices, which lead to increased operational efficiency and lowered total cost of ownership.

"The key technology that helped us move to a consolidated SAN approach was VSANs, which allow us to build a large SAN that can be logically partitioned into small SANs to suit the storage requirements of different applications," said Greg Bartlett, director of Systems Engineering at EA. "This approach and the vastly improved scalability it provides, we will be better adapt to our rapidly growing storage needs across our entire company."