Vixel Unveils SAN Management Tool

BOTHELL, WASH. (03/24/2000) - Fibre Channel vendor Vixel Corp. next week will unveil software the company claims will make it easier for administrators to manage heterogeneous storage-area networks (SAN) from a single console.

Dubbed SAN InSite 2000, the software lets administrators manage and monitor Fibre Channel storage devices from a variety of vendors. The management software will monitor and control Brocade and Ancor switches, Crossroads routers, Gadzoox routers and switches, and host bus adapters from Emulex, JNI, QLogic, Agilent and Interphase, as well as Vixel switches and hubs.

"This is what SANs were supposed to do in the first place - manage all devices from a single point," says Shawn Tu, systems administrator of the Assurant Group, a financial services firm in Atlanta. Tu uses Vixel switches and JNI and Emulex host bus adapters on a Windows NT and Unix network.

SAN InSite 2000, a Web-enabled product, searches the network and creates a topology map of Fibre Channel devices that shows how the devices are physically and logically connected. The software lets users configure zoning on devices and schedule tasks that will be performed automatically. Zoning allows the SAN to be partitioned securely into several virtual private SANs to isolate different operating systems, departments or policies.

Users can also test devices before they are added to the Fibre Channel loop.

For instance, if a new storage array is being added, an administrator can verify its proper operation with the host bus adapter in the server and the cabling between them. Administrators can also perform analyzer functions of the Fibre Channel protocol with SAN InSite. A "sweep screen" function captures protocol-level problems and indicates devices that are misbehaving or starting to fail.

SAN InSite supports NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Sun Solaris and Linux. It will be available in April for $2,000 per server and $1,000 for each vendor's product

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