Six leading storage companies said they will work together to provide customers with cross-vendor, interoperable storage networking products and greater support services.
The companies working together are Brocade Communications Systems, Compaq Computer, EMC, Hitachi Data Systems, IBM, and McData, according to a statement. This effort comes out of the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA), the companies said.
The vendors will offer the ability for customers to run a variety of storage system products off of a single, shared Fibre Channel, the companies said. According to the arrangement, a variety of server platforms will be capable of accessing data residing on Compaq StorageWorks, EMC Enterprise Storage, Hitachi Data Systems Freedom Storage and IBM Enterprise Storage Server.
One setup uses Brocade SilkWorm Fabric Switches, while the other uses McData ED-5000 directors. Each storage system and its associated servers are partitioned off from another vendor's storage system, the companies said. The Fibre Channel is shared by all four storage systems.
Until now, the chances of a SAN user being able to have one host interface talk to several different storage products were next to none, said Nick Allen, vice president and research director at Gartner, in a statement. This is a step in the right direction for "true fabric interoperability," he said.
Also under the agreement forged through the SNIA, vendors will be able to contact each other and share information to streamline the troubleshooting of issues arising in multivendor storage environments, the companies said.