Looking to spread deployment of storage area networks (SANs), 3Com will provide turnkey systems that combine Storage Technology's (StorageTek) storage devices and software with 3Com connectivity devices.
The two companies will ensure the interoperability of 3Com's Host Bus Adapter with StorageTek's storage hubs, switches, disk arrays, and tape libraries. These components will be available in bundled solutions. The companies also vowed to promote the adoption of open standards for SAN products based on Fibre Channel and other technologies.
The alliance may later extend to the co-development of products that would be supported by a joint support organisation.
SANs are designed to let enterprises freely connect any storage device to any server via a shared infrastructure.
Traditional server-to-storage connections do not let servers share a storage device or have required optimisation for each vendor's technology.
According to analysts, SANs may help ease the management and use of growing amounts of stored information in enterprises.
3Com in 1998 became the first major networking vendor to announce plans for SAN products. Later this year, 3Com plans to introduce storage network interface cards, hubs, and switches that can be managed through its Transcend network management system.