Virtualization Technology News and Information
Virtual Instruments Optimizes SAN Availability with SANInsight Fibre TAP Patch Panel System

Virtual Instruments, a leader in storage area network (SAN) and virtual infrastructure optimization solutions, today announced the SANInsight™ 10G Fibre Traffic Access Point (TAP) Patch Panel System.  Designed with Global 2000 companies in mind, and created to simplify and accelerate the diagnosis of storage area network and virtual infrastructure performance and availability problems, the TAP Patch Panel System is the first solution in the world to integrate a network TAP function into a fibre-optic patch panel enclosure.  This new integrated system helps optimize application availability, increases infrastructure utilization, and maximizes application performance.

The next generation dynamic data center is being architected right now by companies around the globe.  It will have to contend with new technologies, ever-growing data volumes and performance requirements that were inconceivable even a few years ago. Companies must have a comprehensive understanding of the data center infrastructure to eliminate the risk of downtime and to minimize ongoing data center costs.  The SANInsight TAP Patch Panel System uniquely enables deep visibility into the virtualized IT infrastructure.

The SANInsight TAP Patch Panel System dramatically simplifies the broad installation of network TAPs into both new and existing fiber-optic physical infrastructures, fully addressing the requirements for monitorability and maintainability, enabling complete SAN optimization on a proactive basis. A TAP uses a passive fiber optic splitter to create an exact, out-of-band copy of the light signal passing through it.  The SANInsight™ Fibre TAP Patch Panel System evolves the standard data center patch panels to enable collection of the data required to improve the performance and availability of mission-critical applications, independent of whether they are deployed on physical or virtual server environments.  Virtual Instruments’ VirtualWisdom® and the SANInsight TAP Patch Panel System provide IT management with the data necessary to make intelligent decisions about utilization, availability and performance for every layer of the infrastructure - network, server, storage and applications.

Virtual Instruments’ SANInsight™ TAP Patch Panel System seamlessly integrates with heterogeneous SAN environments, while replacing the current practice of patch panel-only solutions.  As a result, users are able to quickly and easily implement the industry best practice of TAPping their SAN infrastructure during physical layer installation. This ensures widespread TAP availability to address operational problems, without the disruptions inherent in reactively retrofitting TAPs after problems occur.

“Protecting the US borders from potential threats is of extreme importance to our country.  Our IT systems must support this strategic national imperative,” said Greg Phillips, principal systems architect for enterprise data center operations at the Customs & Border Protection Agency of the US Department of Homeland Security.  “Downtime is not an option in our mission-critical systems and latency is also a major concern.  Gaining comprehensive real-time visibility and proactive management of our SAN infrastructure is a key priority for us, which is only getting more important as we increase our use of server virtualization technology.  Not only will the SANInsight Fiber TAP Patch Panel System enable this insight into our infrastructure, it will allow us to quickly pinpoint problems before they impact our end-users.  In addition, by using the full Virtual Instruments solution to provide critical utilization data to reduce over-provisioning plus latency metrics to properly tier storage, the TAP Patch Panel System will enable us to extract detailed information to help reduce our IT expenses and save the taxpayers’ money.”

“As IT environments become more complex, with increasing use of server and storage virtualization, being able to monitor and analyze the infrastructure across multiple domains is critical to meeting service level agreements,” states Gene Ruth, senior storage analyst, Burton Group/Gartner.  “Deploying network TAPs to improve availability, utilization, and performance has been a best practice in the IP network industry for decades.  The concept of an integrated TAP and fibre-optic patch panel should simplify and lower the cost of deploying TAPs for Fibre Channel networks.  Deploying TAPs for Fibre Channel SANs running mission–critical applications should also be a best practice for the enterprise data center.” 

“The SANInsight TAP Patch Panel System was designed to help our customer’s optimize the availability of their SANs and reduce the business risk of deploying virtualized mission-critical applications,” said Mark Urdahl, chief executive officer, Virtual Instruments. “With TAPs deployed on every Fibre Channel link as a best practice, enterprise data center managers can rest assured that the availability, utilization and performance of their virtualized infrastructure will be optimized.”

Key features of the new 10G Fibre TAP Patch Panel System include:

  • High density of 4 to 12 TAPs per shelf-mounted Cassette provides up to 48 TAPped patch links in a 1U rack
  • Cassettes support a mix of LC or MT adapters to suit multiple cabling schemes and can fit with many of the leading 3rd party shelves and enclosures
  • Passive, out-of band monitoring adds no latency and does not alter live traffic
  • Vendor-independent – works with all fiber-channel storage, HBA and switch products

The TAP Patch Panel System was developed to provide easy maintainability and simple installation.  The SANInsight TAP Patch Panel System integrates with Virtual Instrument’s award-winning NetWisdom and VirtualWisdom solutions through the SANInsight Probe FCXs and SANInsight Protocol Analyzers, and is available immediately from Virtual Instruments and its authorized resellers.  For more information on the new TAP Patch Panel System, please visit:

Published Wednesday, April 28, 2010 6:51 PM by David Marshall
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