Cisco Invests in StoreAge
- By Scott Bekker
storage virtualization may look like a promising technology to administrators,
it apparently looks like a promising investment to Cisco. Yesterday Cisco Systems Corp.
joined a $25 million round
of investment in StoreAge Networking Technologies
Israel-based storage virtualization vendor is just beginning to step up its
stateside operations, and the investment will enable the company to ramp up its
marketing and sales operations.
Schoffelman, director of US operations at StoreAge, says the investment will
aid StoreAge’s credibility with OEMs. He says that OEMs often look to a
vendor’s investors to gauge its prominence, adding, “I can’t think of a better
one than Cisco.”
Prigmore, an analyst with the Enterprise Storage Group, Inc. agrees that the
Cisco investment lends StoreAge credibility. “Cisco's investment in StoreAge
validates both the StoreAge business model as well as the strategic importance
of storage virtualization in general,” he says.
investments in storage are a top priority for the company, from both a
strategic and revenue points of view, according to Prigmore. Last July, Cisco
bought NuSpeed Systems, which makes products for connecting SANs to IP
networks, pointing to a storage initiative at Cisco.
suggests that Cisco may be interested in leveraging it investment for future
storage products. “The big win-win will be doing storage networking over long
hauls,” he says, noting Cisco has no current plans for StoreAge technology.
However, he says, “They are very focused on Fibre Channel, based on product
storage networking is important to Cisco, Prigmore does not believe that Cisco
is planning to leverage its stake in StoreAge. “I don’t see anything out of
this as a direct technology share,” he says. Primore says any speculation about
products is pretty wild, stating “It’s way too early to say ‘they want to make a
storage blade for their Catalyst switch.”
flagship product, SAN Volume Manager (SVM), is a storage virtualization system
for Windows NT and 2000. It consists of a PCI card with dual Fibre Channel
ports that sits on the SAN to manager and monitor logical volumes. The card is
installed in a Windows server, which enables web-based adminstrator access.
software based agents, which mount logical volumes on the SAN as different
storage devices. The virtualization is transparent to the end user. Standard
Fibre Channel HBAs are installed in the server.
Prigmore says that SVM will probably
attract many administrators as the virtualization market grows. “-Christopher McConnell
Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.