At the April Storage Networking World Conference in Palm Desert, CA, Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ) demonstrated technology that it claims is the first of its kind to enable a single device to cost-effectively provide high-speed interconnection of storage area networks over regional and long-distance backbones. Using this technology, the firm�s OptiStar EdgeSwitch can deliver Fibre Channel over Internet Protocol (FCIP)--the networking protocol currently used to connect devices within a storage area network (SAN)--to data centers and storage facilities that are separated by great distances. This should allow support of critical storage applications as data backup, disaster recovery, data replication, storage hosting, and storage trading over existing carrier networks. The FCIP is a standards-based technology co-authored by Lucent Technologies and various storage networking vendors.
The Lucent OptiStar EdgeSwitch provides SANs with a direct optical link to metropolitan and wide area networks (WANs) based on IP. By adding the FCIP capability to the switch, Lucent has solved a problem that has limited efforts to achieve effective storage networking over distance--extending Fibre Channel-based SANs to optical IP networks, while supporting existing Fibre Channel infrastructure and performance levels.
On its own, native Fibre Channel traffic cannot travel more than 10 km in a network, and thus cannot be used for wide-area service delivery. Sitting at the intersection of the SAN and the WAN, the EdgeSwitch uses the FCIP technology to place Fibre Channel data into IP packets. This allows routing both block and file-level storage traffic over the IP WANs along with IP data traffic. Users can thus share a high-capacity WAN link for both IP storage and data traffic, as well as to use standard IP routing for full multi-point storage connectivity.
The OptiStar EdgeSwitch FCIP network module offers broad interoperability with industry-leading Fibre Channel storage devices and networks. Other available OptiStar EdgeSwitch network modules offer Gigabit Ethernet, OC-48c (2.5 Gb/s), and OC-12c (622 Mb/s) Packet over SONET to interconnect with a variety of optical WAN transport equipment including core IP routers, dense-wave division-multiplexing devices, and SONET multiplexers.