IBM announced that it's the first storage vendor to offer a new IP Storage Service Module from Cisco Systems. The company is now offering the Cisco MDS 9000 IP Storage Services Module, which is designed to simplify and lower the cost of expanding Storage Area Networks (SANs) to midrange and long distances. IBM already offers Cisco's MDS 9000 family of multilayer switches. The Cisco MDS 9000 IP Storage Services Module supports both Internet SCSI (iSCSI) and the emerging Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP) protocol. Other companies are expected to offer the module shortly.
The ability to use either iSCSI or FCIP for storage connectivity within data centers or across local networks, metro networks, and WANs lets customers choose between the two competing IP Storage technologies. FCIP lets users expand existing Fibre Channel SANs to use the IP protocol. "By enabling customers to take advantage of both their existing Fibre Channel fabric and IP networking infrastructures, IBM and Cisco are helping customers drive down the cost of storage networking," said Luca Cafiero, senior vice president and general manager of the Switching, Voice, and Storage Technologies Group at Cisco.http://www.storageadmin.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=39578