Pirus Networks connects storage with utility switch

Pirus Networks Inc. on Monday introduced the PSX-1000 storage utility switch, which is intended to provide a simple and direct way to link multiple storage devices running different data protocols.

The switch and its supporting software allow an administrator to easily manage data paths between application servers and storage arrays regardless of whether the individual systems are running across Fibre Channel, iSCSI, or IP-based Ethernet, according to Ken Kutzer, product marketing director for Pirus, based in Acton, Massachusetts.

Not claiming to be an over-arching storage management operating system, the PSX-1000 simply tethers together multiple storage arrays and servers through an "intelligent storage switch." An internal cross-bar fabric within the PSX-1000 allows for switching across multiple types of connections, Kutzer said.

The PSX-1000 can save companies as much as 53 percent of the "typical acquisition costs for storage services" by consolidating their switching, according to Pirus representatives.

Input and output channels can be customized to support a variety of combinations of either fibre, iSCSI, or IP, depending on how many of each a customer needs.

Security concerns revolving around the existence of what is essentially a Fibre-to-IP bridge within the PSX-1000 are handled with a "secure virtual storage domain" that prevents certain data from hopping on to an outside, or insecure, IP network, said Kutzer.

"We built this feature we call a secure virtual storage domain, which is the ability to partition the storage network into logical groupings, like a VLAN (virtual local area network). We apply a similar security concept to the storage networking world," said Kutzer.

Pricing starts at US$85,000 for a fully-functional configuration that includes four file servers, the Pirus PSX-1000 Storage Utility Switch, and a suite of management software. The software includes the Pirus ServFlex Files Services Logical Server Architecture, Pirus Secure Virtual Storage Domain, and PirusView Management Software, which assists in the integration of the Pirus platform into existing storage and system management programs.

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