Network giant Cisco Systems is ready to join the Future I/O movement.
The only problem is that Cisco is not sure what devices could use the advanced input/output technology. Future I/O, however, could lead Cisco to places it has never gone before, such as high-speed disk mirroring, fail-over between servers and even storage area networks (SAN).
Cisco hasn't got to specific product planning, but the company will be reviewing the Future I/O specification and looking for possible avenues to explore, said company executive Frank Maly. Cisco may also become involved in disaster recovery and storage switching.
Cisco has done SNA over IP, is now working on voice over IP, and, in the future, will pursue IP over Future I/O, Maly says. Ultimately, Future I/O may mean a consolidation of a typical LAN and a SAN to create a single system-area network, running IP, he says.
As the company most commonly identified with IP routing, Cisco may have a leg up on other Future I/O supporters as the members of the Future I/O movement are endorsing IP Version 6 as the protocol of choice. After Cisco learnt that IP Version 6 was going to be part of the Future I/O standard, the company decided to join the nonprofit special interest group sponsoring Future I/O.