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Cisco Releases Router for Moving Enterprise Workgroups to SANs

Cisco Systems Inc. on Tuesday introduced a storage router for moving Windows-based enterprise workgroups from direct-attached storage to Storage Area Networks (SANs).

Called the Cisco SN 5428 Storage Router, the storage networking platform supports both IP and Fibre Channel switching technologies and costs about $12,000.

"By combining iSCSI/IP and Fibre Channel technologies, the Cisco SN 5428 lets these organizations use well-known and understood IP networking concepts to take advantage of all the performance and feature benefits of storage consolidation, at a significant cost savings to previous methods," according to Cisco.

The networking giant says that moving workgroups to a SAN brings all the cost-of-ownership benefits usually associated with the SAN approach -- easier storage management, more efficient storage utilization and centralized backup.

Robert Gray, research director at IDC, predicts the new Cisco offering will accelerate SAN adoption in the cost-conscious workgroup SAN market.

The Cisco router has two Gigabit Ethernet ports and eight Fibre Channel fabric switch ports. The Fibre Channel ports can be 1- or 2-gigabit, and they support E_port connectivity and zoning.

Cisco has also included intelligent network services, including advanced security, Virtual LANs, Quality of Service and support for high-availability clusters.

In addition to support for iSCSI drivers for Windows 2000 and Windows NT, the router works with Cisco drivers for several other platforms including Sun Solaris, HP-UX, IBM AIX and several flavors of Linux.

About the Author

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