Emerging SAN market gathers steam

Australia's emerging storage area network market is gathering steam, with industry players yesterday revealing the country now has two enterprise sites running live.

The vendor suppliers refused to reveal the names of their customers, citing confidentiality agreements, but indicated the sites are a large retail giant and a government department, one of these having around 17,000 users.

The sites are one of the first real signs of life in Australia's storage area network (SAN) market, which vendors bill as the logical evolution of enterprise storage and backup systems.

SANs offer users a way to centralise disparate data and storage systems, connecting both servers and storage subsystems across the network.

According to Seagate Software, the advantage for users includes data protection, increased data availability, and centralised storage management and control.

Worldwide, the SAN market is attracting interest from leading vendors, most of which are aligned under non-proft organisation Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA).

Seagate Software, Compaq and Exabyte yesterday announced an alliance in Australia to provide SAN solutions, claiming to be the only local partnership.

Seagate also reported it will only sell SAN solutions into companies using equipment from its list of certified Fibre Channel hardware vendors.

The list includes ADIC, Compaq, Dell, Emulex, Exabyte, Gadzoox, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Overland Data, Qlogic, StorageTek and Vixel.

"The problem is SAN is complex technology," Greg Wyman, Seagate Software's regional sales director, explained.

The partnerships are designed to help guarantee the SAN will work with the user's equipment.

"It is critical [when] these go in, they work," he said, indicating SANs often support mission-critical environments.

Wyman said the industry has not yet made SAN technology completely "plug and play", so opportunities exist for specialist integrators.

Compaq's storage marketing manager, Stephen Bovis, said specially-trained resellers stand to make significant profits from SAN solutions.

"It really is a consultative-style sell," he said.

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More about AdicCompaqEmulexExabyteHewlett-Packard AustraliaIBM AustraliaLogicalOverland DataQLogicSeagate SoftwareStorage Networking Industry AssociationStorageTekVixel

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