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Cisco yesterday unveiled technology that boosts its Fibre Channel-based storage-area-network (SAN)-extension services over Synchronous Optical Network/Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SONET/SDH) wide area networks.

The networking firm's SL-Series interface for its Cisco ONS 15454 Multiservice Provisioning Platform (MSPP) steps up port density by providing four gigabit-interface-converter (GBIC)-based ports, each capable of 1- and 2-Gbps Fibre Channel at wire speed, giving a total of 40 Fibre Channel interfaces. The SL-Series will ship commercially by the end of this year.

The company said that the latest device, which boosts the capacity of the currently available ML-Series interface, will complete its SAN extension portfolio by allowing a Cisco ONS 15454-based service network to provide Storage Area Network-extension services using native Fibre Channel, Gigabit Ethernet, or Fibre Channel over Internet Protocol (FCIP).

Cisco's full range of SAN-extension offerings include native Fibre Channel, FCIP, and Small Computer System Interface over IP (iSCSI) technologies on the firm's MDS storage switches, DWDM-based SAN services over its ONS 15530 and ONS 15540, FCIP-based interfaces on the Cisco 7200 and 7400 series routers and multiservice transport over the Cisco ONS 15454. The latest SAN-extension services share the same Cisco management tools used to create time-division multiplexing (TDM) and Ethernet services.

According to Dave Dunphy, a principal analyst at Current Analysis, the SL-series "adds flexibility" to Cisco's Multiservice over SONET/SDH offering, due to its ability to supporting both the 15454's installed base and new builds.

The networking company added that its SL-Series interface is currently being certified across major SAN original storage manufacturer applications. ®

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