3Com will announce plans this week to be the first major networking vendor to take on a storage area network (SAN) strategy.
The company is partnering with MTI Technology, Legato Systems and Data General's Clariion division to develop SAN products for early 1999. 3Com also said it would need to make acquisitions in this field to keep ahead of the pack and did not rule out Gadzooks as a leading contender.
A SAN is a dedicated Fibre Channel network connecting servers and storage peripherals to improve data availability by making the connected drives look like a very large single drive. It consists of server adaptors, hubs and switches, with network and storage management tools, combined with the high bandwidth and reliability of storage I/O.
3Com's four-phase SAN strategy has started with Plumbing and Partners which includes a StorageConnect-branded host adaptor as well as a hub, both of which will include SNMP support. The second phase will see Transcend Network Manager software for SANs, which is expected late next year. Post 2000, phase three, will see efforts to integrate the LAN, WAN and SAN so that users can access the SAN directly through their LAN. The final phase will include policy management of SANs.
Key products will include Fibre Channel network interface cards, hubs and switches as well as storage management products based on 3Com's Transcend network management software.
A spokeswoman at 3Com said, "This is going to be a very fast-growing market and there are several vendors that offer parts of the solution but not all of it. We want to bring all these vendors together and away from the proprietary nature of the technology as it stands now."
3Com estimates the Fibre Channel SAN market will be worth $1.5 billion (#888 million) in the US alone by 2002.
- More network news p22.
J1043+2408 was observed for more than 10 years, and its radio light curve exhibited a periodic signal repeating in about 563 days
Success of Unity's test flight means Virgin Galactic is now close to taking its first paying tourist into space
V3 puts the pro-level football GPS tracker through its paces, and asks if it's more than a gimmick
Finding refutes many earlier studies that suggest that galaxies don't have much dark matter at the time of their birth