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Press Release

FibreAlliance Showcases Multivendor SAN Interoperability, Accelerates Membership Growth

Advancing Open Standards for Heterogeneous Storage Area Networks

Las Vegas,, Monday, May 8, 2000 - 

With the massive NetWorld+Interop 2000 Conference and Exhibition as a backdrop, the FibreAlliance, an open association of more than 40 Fibre Channel vendors, today unveiled a broad-based demonstration of heterogeneous storage area network (SAN) interoperability. Further, the coalition announced the membership of six additional companies, bringing to 43 the number of Fibre Channel suppliers working cooperatively within the FibreAlliance to develop and implement industry standards for managing heterogeneous SANs.

"Guided by a single, common goal – to help customers easily deploy and manage effective, interoperable, enterprise-class SANs – the companies of the FibreAlliance continue to help advance the widely recognized need for SAN management standards," said Don Swatik, Executive Sponsor of the FibreAlliance and Vice President of Strategic Planning at EMC Corporation, which sponsors the FibreAlliance. "Once again, the coalition is demonstrating the tangible results of its work, as our presence at N+I 2000 illustrates. And many FibreAlliance members are shipping products that employ the innovative technology they helped develop."

Demonstrating SAN Management Interoperability

At N+I 2000 Las Vegas, the FibreAlliance is demonstrating a prototype SAN management environment, based on the Phase 2.2 Management Information Base (MIB) technology developed jointly within the FibreAlliance. The demonstration highlights a Fibre Channel- and SCSI-based SAN topology consisting of SAN components from 13 FibreAlliance member companies. The components include Fibre Channel-based enterprise directors, switches, hubs, Fibre-to-SCSI bridges, host bus adapters, enterprise storage systems, and storage management appliance and software solutions.

The FibreAlliance MIB provides a single, comprehensive storage management console from which storage administrators can quickly and easily monitor the health of the entire topology. The MIB also enables users to collect and display SAN device port-level information and launch specific device-management tools such as configuration and control utilities. The management console supports both the Phase 1.5 MIB and the Phase 2.2 MIB, providing investment protection of earlier device implementations while enabling non-disruptive configuration of the SAN. As a result, larger, more complex SANs can be implemented and managed using the same fixed resources.

Growing FibreAlliance Membership

With the addition of the following six companies, the FibreAlliance membership continues to grow and expand in business scope. The new FibreAlliance members include:

Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: BRCD), of San Jose, Cal., is a leading supplier of open Fibre Channel fabric solutions that provide the intelligent backbone for storage area networks. Using BROCADE solutions, such as the SilkWorm family of Fibre Channel switches and software, companies can simplify the implementation of SANs, reduce the total cost of ownership of data storage environments, and improve network and application efficiency and performance.

DISC, Inc. (NASDAQ: DCSR), of Milpitas, Cal., supplies a broad range of highly reliable automated storage solutions for multiple segments of the mass-storage market. The company manufactures an extensive family of automated storage libraries for high performance, digital storage applications. DISC currently offers libraries for 5.25-inch optical disk and compact disc (CD) products.

InterSAN, Inc., of Scotts Valley, Cal., develops software technology and products to manage storage area networks. InterSAN solutions provide a unified view and uniform interface that seamlessly integrate to manage complex, mixed-vendor SAN environments, enabling customers to fully realize the performance, availability and cost benefits of SANs.

Radiant Software, of Santa Monica, Cal., an AT&T company, is a software development firm that specializes in comprehensive management solutions for today's rapidly evolving SANs. From a single intuitive interface, Radiant's Enterprise Resource Management Application, RAIDiance, enables configuration and management of all critical aspects of the SAN, including mixed-vendor hardware, zoning, I/O traffic and logical volumes such as RAIDs.

TD Systems, of Northboro, Mass., provides solutions to companies' search for data storage efficiencies. Primary applications include SAN switching, tape backup, disaster recovery and a "bridge to the future" for legacy-based systems. Its OMNISERVE 4 enables sharing of "mixed" signals (Fibre Channel and SCSI) and the ability to accept and transmit these signals to remote locations over Fibre Channel.

Troika Networks, Inc., of Westlake Village, Cal., is an emerging growth server and storage networking company. TROIKA brings new dimensions to storage networks by adding server cluster and IP communications to storage-protocol-only SANs. This multi-dimensional network is the foundation of a highly available, scalable and reliable IT infrastructure for business-critical applications.

Moving Toward SAN Management Standards

One of the major goals of the FibreAlliance is to design and deploy an SNMP-based (Simple Network Management Protocol) Fibre Channel Management Information Base (MIB). A MIB is a group of parameters, or variables, whose values define and describe the status of, a network and its components. The Fibre Channel Management Integration MIB provides a common method for managing multiple devices across a heterogeneous storage network. It serves as a building block for developing other SAN interoperability initiatives throughout the industry.

Phases I and II of the MIB have been completed. The FibreAlliance submitted these works to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the governing body authorized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for SNMP-based MIB standards. Currently, the MIB is proceeding through the review process of the IETF and can be viewed in its entirety at www.ietf.org or at www.fibrealliance.org. Phase III of the MIB is nearly complete and is expected to be submitted to the IETF in May 2000.

About the FibreAlliance

The companies of the FibreAlliance include Agilent, Ancor, American Power Conversion, ATTO, BMC, BROCADE, Cambex, Chaparral, CNT, Crossroads, Datametrics, DISC, Inc., EMC, Emulex, Exabyte, Finisar, Gadzoox, Heroix, Hewlett-Packard, IBM NUMA-Q, INRANGE, Interphase, InterSAN, JMR Electronics, JNI, KOM, Little Mountain Group, Legato, McDATA, Pathlight, Prisa, QLogic, Radiant, SAN Valley, Siemens, SmartSAN, StorageNetworks, StoreAge, TD Systems, TROIKA, Veritas, Vixel, and VMIC.

Italic = companies currently or soon shipping FibreAlliance MIB-compliant products. For details, see www.fibrealliance.org/fb/mib/product_vendor.htm

EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC) is the world leader in information storage systems, software, networks and services, providing the information infrastructure for a connected world. Information about EMC's products and services can be found at www.emc.com.

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