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Cable Technology Feature Article

October 09, 2008

Ixia Intros Data Center Testing Solution for Fiber Channel over Ethernet

By Raju Shanbhag, TMCnet Contributor

Ixia (News - Alert), a global provider of IP performance test systems, is now offering a new testing solution for fiber channel over Ethernet (FCoE). The company also is now partners with SANBlaze (News - Alert) Technology, a provider of storage solutions for embedded systems.
To reduce capital expenditures (CAPEX) and operating expenditures (OPEX (News - Alert)), enterprises, content providers and service providers have a growing need to migrate storage area network (SAN) fiber channel traffic using Ethernet. FCoE is rapidly emerging as the technology of choice for SAN traffic. Many data centers maintain duplicate networks, one of them Ethernet. Ixia’s DCE testing solution helps customers validate new consolidated FCoE networks.
Apart from providing application traffic such as rich media, which is inherent to storage area networks, Ixia’s data center Ethernet (DCE) testing solution provides a comprehensive solution for testing Ethernet, FCoE and SCSI devices. Performing essential functional, performance and scalability testing, Ixia provides a complete FCoE testing solution which boasts the highest port density in the industry — up to 96 10 GbE ports in a single chassis.
A 2008 report from Forrester (News - Alert) indicated that U.S. IT spending on storage is expected to continue growing into 2009. However, CIOs are likely reduce their expectations to 120 percent in economic hard times as they try to maintain storage capacity that is in the neighborhood of 150 percent of current needs. At the same time, the decrease in information that needs to be stored will not subside. The companies will start buying again when the margins thin.
Offering real-world storage area network testing, Ixia also supports SCSI testing over FCoE. Bridging the gap between native fiber channel and FCoE, Ixia ports can emulate tape drives, disk arrays and other native fiber channel storage devices. Apart from RFC test suites for validation of data center Ethernet performance, application support includes functional testing and high-scalability performance testing.
“The industry needs a single-platform testing solution in order to advance FCoE technology in the data center, and provide real world storage network testing,” said Atul Bhatnagar, Ixia’s president and CEO. “This will bridge the testing needs between traditional Ethernet testing and SAN testing.”

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Raju Shanbhag is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Raju's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Mae Kowalke