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Leading vendors collaborate to bring end users greater flexibility, ease of deployment and lower cost in building heterogeneous SANs

Mountain View, CA – 14th April 2003 – The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA), an international organisation dedicated to delivering storage networking architectures, education and solutions for the IT community, today announced leading storage networking vendors of the SNIA Supported Solutions Forum (SSF) will debut the industry’s most comprehensive demonstration of interoperable Fibre Channel switches and directors at Storage Networking World Spring 2003, April 14-17 in Scottsdale, AZ.

The demonstration will feature heterogeneous storage area networks (SANs) built with switches and storage devices from SNIA SSF member companies including Cisco Systems, EMC Corporation, Hitachi Data Systems, HP, IBM Corporation, INRANGE Technologies, McDATA Corp., QLogic Corporation, and Sun Microsystems. The SSF’s mission is to test and certify multi-vendor storage networking interoperability solutions and ensure they are mutually supported among the participating vendors. The availability of multi-vendor SAN switch solution sets is expected to follow the SSF’s demonstration at SNW by summer 2003.

In the quest for multi-vendor storage solutions, switch interoperability is a key element in building and managing heterogeneous SANs. Multi-vendor switch interoperability enables IT professionals to source, select, and interconnect devices from different storage vendors within the same fabric. End users are also able to utilise multi-vendor switch interoperability to extend their SAN to include “edge products” such as IP storage routers and blade servers which feature embedded Fibre Channel switches.

“The success and support of this multi-vendor switch demonstration represents a new era in storage networking – major vendors have put aside their competitiveness to work for the good of the customer and the industry,” said Phil Mills, chairman of the SNIA Supported Solutions Forum. “The SSF’s certification of interoperable solutions coupled with the complete support of participating vendors, takes the risk out of building and managing heterogeneous storage networks. Ultimately, IT administrators will have the ability and flexibility to deploy best-of-breed components that best meet their specific financial and technical requirements.”

More information on SNIA Forums can be found at

For more information regarding the interoperability demonstration, visit the SNIA home page at For more information on Storage Networking World 2003, visit


SSF Member Comments

“Cisco believes that open standards and interoperability are critical to growth and long term success of customer centric SAN infrastructures. Through the efforts of SNIA's Supported Solutions Forum, the storage networking industry can achieve this goal, thus offering customers with choice, flexibility, and the best products in meeting their evolving storage needs.”
Bill Erdman, director of technology alliances, Storage Technology Group, Cisco Systems

“EMC continues to support customers' needs by delivering supported, interoperable solutions and through collaborative efforts such as the SSF. As a founding SSF member, EMC is on the leading edge of helping customers further expand their SAN infrastructures with vendor choice, thereby enhancing storage consolidation initiatives and lowering operational costs. SSF provides customers the additional assurance that their multi-vendor configurations are mutually supported by the participating vendors.” Mark Lewis, chief technology officer and executive vice president of New Ventures, EMC

“HP’s vision for enterprise network storage solutions is based on the delivery of controllable, resilient, and extensible storage networks for use in customers’ data center environments. We view the SNIA-sponsored demonstration of multi-protocol switch interoperability as an excellent proof point of the industry’s progress towards maximizing the benefits of storage interoperability.”
Roger Archibald, vice president, Infrastructure and NAS Division, HP Network Storage Solutions

“Hitachi Data Systems' goal is to provide customers with the freedom of choice to take advantage of multi-vendor, interoperable storage solutions based on industry standards. SNIA's Supported Solutions Forum is driving the storage networking community to work together to develop multi-vendor storage solutions. We look forward to continuing work with the SSF as a part of the open, collaborative business model promoted in the Hitachi TrueNorth vision.”
Jack Domme, vice president, Storage Management Software, Hitachi Data Systems

“The multi-vendor switch demonstration is an important step toward achieving interoperability in heterogeneous storage networks that customers are asking for. IBM has established its commitment to interoperability and will continue to work together with members of the Supported Solutions Forum to help reduce the complexities associated with linking the disparate storage devices of today's data center.”
Clod Barrera, director of storage strategy, IBM Systems Group

“INRANGE is committed to delivering open, interoperable enterprise connectivity and storage networking solutions enabling users to benefit from greater flexibility, simpler management, and investment protection. This multi-vendor, interoperability demonstration is evidence of the industry's commitment to deliver vendor-supported solutions that address customers' requirements for ease of deployment, interoperability, and performance. INRANGE is pleased to be a part of this demonstration and will continue to work with SNIA and other industry associations to advance interoperability and open industry standards.”
Dale A. Lafferty, vice president, Marketing and Strategic Alliances, INRANGE

“Customers require open, interoperable storage networks. McDATA is a strong proponent of interoperability as it provides businesses with flexibility, investment protection and ease of deployment. This demonstration is significant in setting standards, as it brings together the Fibre Channel switch vendors who share this open philosophy to address the interoperability and end-to-end management issues customers face. As rapid advancements in storage networking technology continue to emerge, it is crucial that Fibre Channel switch vendors continue to ensure long-term openness and interoperability for storage network customers.”
Mike Gustafson, senior vice president of worldwide marketing, McDATA

“Open standards and interoperability have long been the hallmark of QLogic's customer strategy. By empowering customers with choices in price, performance and features, we all win. This is not just another interoperability demonstration. Today we have set the stage for real multi-vendor solutions, supported by leading OEMs, that customers can buy with great confidence.”
Frank Berry, vice president of marketing, QLogic Corp

“Customers need open, interoperable solutions which can be easily deployed and managed. Sun supports every effort to provide these types of solutions through the development of and adherence to open standards, as well as the participation in SNIA's many on-going initiatives like the Supported Solutions Forum (SSF). The SSF provides qualified solutions that have the backing and support of all participating vendors, helping customers reduce risk and lower cost.”
Kathleen Holmgren, vice president of marketing, Sun Network Storage


About the SNIA Supported Solutions Forum

The Supported Solutions Forum (SSF) is a group of companies within the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) that promotes customer adoption of open storage networking solutions by encouraging vendors to work together and deliver to customers mutually supported, interoperable solutions. In support of SNIA goals, the highly innovative SSF was established in June of 2001, so that SNIA members could improve storage networking interoperability through solutions jointly developed and qualified by Forum members. Each Supported Solution is cooperatively supported by sponsoring Forum members to provide a streamlined customer support process for the end-user company. Visit the SSF web site at .

About the Storage Networking Industry Association Europe (SNIA-E)
The Storage Networking Industry Association is a not-for-profit organisation made up of more than 300 companies and individuals worldwide spanning virtually the entire storage industry – end users, vendors and resellers. SNIA members share a common goal: to set the pace of the industry by ensuring that storage networks become efficient, complete and trusted solutions across the IT community.

To this end, the SNIA is uniquely committed to delivering standards, education and services that will propel open storage networking solutions into the broader market. For information, contact the SNIA Europe on +33 1 47 49 06 23 or +33 1 34 58 46 72 or via e-mail at, or visit the SNIA web sites at and

The SNIA is co-founder of Storage Networking World EuroStorage event, to be held in Cannes, France from 3-6 June 2003. EuroStorage is a vendor-neutral source of information and delivers well-founded knowledge. The conference provides objective answers to strategic and critical questions. Storage Networking World is an established forum, which demonstrates the possibilities as well as the limits of storage-technology to the business audience. Last year, Storage Networking World EuroStorage attracted more than 700 delegates. For more information please visit EuroStorage on-line at


Rose Ross / Hannah Knowles,
Omarketing Limited
+44 (0) 20 8255 5225 /

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