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Ixia Announces Data Center Ethernet Testing Solution for Fibre Channel Over Ethernet


Solution Offers Data Performance Testing and SCSI Device Emulation for High-Speed, FCoE Storage Area Networks

CALABASAS, Calif. - Ixia (NASDAQ: XXIA), a leading, global provider of IP performance test systems, today announced a complete testing solution for Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), and a partnership agreement with SANBlaze Technology Inc., a leading provider of storage solutions for embedded systems.

Ixia’s data center Ethernet (DCE) testing solution provides a comprehensive solution for testing Ethernet, FCoE and SCSI devices, in addition to application traffic such as rich media, inherent to storage area networks. 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 - and performs essential functional, performance and scalability testing.

Large enterprises, content providers and service providers have a growing need to migrate storage area network (SAN) fibre channel traffic over Ethernet networks to reduce CAPEX and OPEX expenses. FCoE is rapidly emerging as the technology of choice for SAN traffic. Currently, many data centers maintain duplicate networks - one for Ethernet server-to-server and/or server-to-client network traffic, and a separate network for Fibre channel traffic that connects data centers. Ixia’s DCE testing solution will help customers validate new consolidated FCoE networks, reduce investment in test equipment and ensure a successful migration.

According to Forrester Research’s September, ’08 Report on US IT spending projections for the remainder of ’08 and ’09, storage spending is expected to increase because while CIOs try to maintain storage capacity that is in the neighborhood of 150 percent of current needs, they might reduce their expectations to 120 percent in economic hard times. At the same time, the decrease in information that needs to be stored will not subside, and when margins thin, enterprises will start buying again.

“Based on IDC’s data center market projections, Ixia is bringing a ’must-have’ testing solution to storage marketplace,” said Cindy Borovick, research vice president, Datacenter Networks for IDC. “Fibre channel over Ethernet can reduce the number of interface connections on each server, eliminating the need for separate connections for Ethernet and fibre channel. As a result fewer cables, adapters and switches are needed, which would reduce overall power consumption in the data center, creating the potential for even more OPEX savings. Realistic testing, such as that offered by Ixia with its DCE testing solution will provide confidence in this migration.”

Ixia’s solution provides support for FCoE protocols, including priority flow control (PFC), enhanced transmission notification (ETS) and congestion notification (CN), all of which are required to transmit SAN traffic over Ethernet, or “lossless Ethernet.”

Ixia also supports SCSI testing over FCoE, which provides real-world storage area network testing. Ixia ports can emulate tape drives, disk arrays and other native fibre channel storage devices, bridging the gap between native fibre channel and FCoE. Application support includes functional testing and high-scalability performance testing, as well as RFC test suites for validation of data center Ethernet performance.

The Ixia/SANBlaze partnership will offer the industry’s most comprehensive, cost-effective FCoE testing solution. SANBlaze technology for fibre channel target and initiator emulation testing is integrated on the high-performance Ixia IxYukon™ 10 GbE hardware platform, which features the highest 10 GbE port density in the industry.

“FCoE testing is a rapidly growing requirement for the data center. Together, Ixia and SANBlaze are providing an indispensable solution for our mutual customers,” said Steven Munroe, president and CEO of SANBlaze Technology. “Integrating with the Ixia platform is a natural fit since they lead the industry in 10 GbE IP 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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