Nishan Introduces Storage-Over-IP Switches

Storage-over-IP, the practice of moving block data over IP networks, is often considered an alternative to Fibre Channel technology. One vendor’s new products demonstrate how Storage-over-IP can complement a Fibre Channel SAN.

Nishan Systems Inc. today released a line of switches for connecting SCSI and Fibre Channel to Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) IP networks. Nishan says that while some companies focus on replacing Fibre Channel with IP in SANs, it believes there is an opportunity in connecting SANs to high speed IP networks.

One application Nishan sees for its switches is the connection of SANs to MANs and WANs. GigEis gaining adoption as a standard for connecting systems within an urban area. Vendors like Yipes! Communications Inc. use GigE for supplying “bandwidth-on-demand” for enterprise customers. Nishan hopes to ride this growing trend, as more enterprises decide to connect storage systems in metropolitan areas.

Nishan’s switches use a technology the company calls SoIP, for encapsulating Fibre Channel or SCSI traffic into IP packets. Because storage devices cannot tolerate underruns and create useable copies, Nishan buffers traffic on the receiving end, ensuring that the data reaches a device smoothly.

The IPS 1000, 2000, and 3000 storage switches are Nishan’s entry into the Storage-over-IP market. The IPS 2000 switch connects SCSI devices to IP networks, allowing SCSI data to move across standard networks. The IPS 3000 switch connects Fibre Channel SANs to IP networks. Finally the IPS 1000 connects both Fibre Channel and SCSI for congested networks and greater latency tolerance; it has a larger buffer to ensure data integrity.

Nishan also announced that it had a prototype Infiniband storage switch for bridging between IP networks and Infiniband implementations. - Christopher McConnell

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.