March 10, 2005, 2:25 PM — Cisco Systems Inc. introduced a new Storage Services Module (SSM) for its MDS 9000 SAN (storage area network) platform at the Cebit trade show.
The new card has 32 Fibre Channel ports and can speed up storage network functions such as backup by taking control of operations from the host server, according to Cisco spokesman Dante Malagrino. The card runs a new version of Cisco's operating system for MDS 9000 components, SAN-OS 2.1, and can be slotted into Cisco's MDS 9500 Series directors or its MDS 9200 Series fabric switches.
The SSM is based on an ASIC (application-specific integrated circuits) designed by Cisco, which is "as complex as a Pentium processor," and is designed to host storage applications, including those developed by third parties, Malagrino said at a news conference at the show.
Third-party developers can write their applications to open application interfaces such as FAIS (Fabric Application Interface Standard) or SANTap, a protocol used to tap into transactions and commands in the heart of the SAN.
Third-party vendors including EMC Corp. and Veritas Software Corp. announced their support for the platform. EMC is demonstrating a storage virtualization application for the platform at Cebit.
Cisco also announced that other storage software vendors will support the SANTap service on their appliances, among them Alacritus Software Inc., Cloverleaf Communications Inc., FalconStor Software Inc., Kashya Inc., Topio Inc. and Xiotech Corp. Cisco is demonstrating SANTap at the show using appliances from FalconStor, Kashya, Topio and Xiotech, it said.
Cebit runs through Wednesday in Hanover, Germany.