INRANGE Technologies and IBM Corp. announced they have expanded their strategic business relationship, and that IBM will resell and service INRANGE's recently released 128-port IN-VSN(TM) FC/9000(TM) Fibre Channel Director. The agreement expands a current reseller relationship, through which IBM has been remarketing INRANGE's 64-port director technology to provide the switching infrastructure for both open systems and IBM FICON storage networks.
"A well-planned, well-executed infrastructure is the foundation of successful communication, commerce, and growth within and between businesses," said Barry Rudolph, IBM vice president for Disk Storage Systems/Software. "Through our relationship with INRANGE, we are able to deliver large-scale storage solutions that support manageable growth, and help end-user demand for flexible, open technology. With the increased capabilities of the FC/9000, large-scale storage deployments such as those based upon our Enterprise Storage Server can be facilitated rapidly and cleanly without enterprise disruption."
In accordance with the IN-VSN technology roadmap announced by INRANGE last year, the 128-port FC/9000 is shipping currently, with 256-port models scheduled for the fourth quarter, 2001. Also in this timeframe, 2 Gbps Fibre Channel technology will be incorporated into the director and INRANGE edge switch products as previously announced. In keeping with INRANGE's multi- protocol expertise, the FC/9000 Director will in 2001 support Fibre Channel, FICON, and Fibre Channel IP concurrently.
IBM expected to make the FC/9000-128 Director generally available soon, with users of INRANGE's 64-port FC/9000 systems able to migrate to 128-port models through simple field upgrades. Through interoperability testing programs that speed time to market, IBM and INRANGE have teamed to test and support the INRANGE FC/9000 Director when used with the Magstar 3590 A60 Tape Controller with FICON connected to S/390 and zSeries servers. ESS with fibre channel interfaces to Windows NT, Windows 2000, and Sun servers is also now available. Both companies currently plan on supporting IBM Magstar 3590 Tape Drives with fibre channel interfaces to Windows NT, Windows 2000, and Sun servers, with expected availability in the second quarter of 2001.
"Our commitment to open systems is the cornerstone of INRANGE's storage networking strategy," said Michael Pecora, INRANGE vice president for the IBM Business Unit. "With this expanded agreement, IBM has identified the FC/9000 as a strategic offering in their FICON market space as well as for large scale, open systems."