Amdahl, McData to Provide Fibre Channel SANs

Amdahl Corp. (Sunnyvale, Calif., and McData Corp. (Broomfield, Co., announced an alliance to provide high-availability Fibre Channel Storage Area Network (SAN) solutions to data centers.

The agreement, in essence, takes advantage of Amdahl's data center presence within Fortune 1,000 companies to promote McData's storage products that are suited for these companies.

Under the terms of the agreement, Amdahl will add McData's ED-5000 Enterprise Fibre Channel Director and Enterprise Fabric Connectivity (EFC) Management software to its SAN strategy. Features of the ED-5000 include server and storage consolidation, any-to-any connectivity between servers and storage up to 32 ports, extended cabling distances up to six miles, fault tolerant operation, proactive service capabilities, centralized connectivity management and high-aggregate bandwidth.

In the future, McData's storage solutions will be aimed at consolidating storage by taking more advantage of the RAID machine on the floor and providing switches that will allow the plugging of four host bus adapters.

"Generally what we find is that there's more storage out there than servers can take advantage of," says Gary Wright, director of solutions marketing, McData Corp. "Using the increase of performance of Fibre Channel, you can consolidate the servers on to these large arrays and make it easier to manage the storage and lower the cost."

"This is the way to manage storage without increasing staff," says Robert Gray, research manager for storage systems, International Data Corp. (IDC, Framingham, Mass.). "By bringing storage together, you can bring costs down for support."

According to an IDC white paper, some storage buyers are willing to pay twice as much for consolidated storage as distributed storage. The reasons, says the report, are lower management costs, lower tape operation costs, improved applications availability, avoidance of costly losses and an added business value.