Given the number of devices it supports and the resulting size of the SAN necessary for testing, I tested this device at Maxxan's storage lab in San Jose, Calif. The test environment included over 100 JBOD (just a bunch of disks) elements and several RAID arrays from different manufacturers. Other than working with their test engineers to verify Maxxan’s claim of non-blocking 320Gbps performance for the switch fabric, testing focused on the functionality of the switch-management software and the SA200f blade.
Managing devices from several different manufacturers went smoothly, and the SA200f blade showed a great feature set and surprising software maturity for a new product. I created virtual disks and set up all the necessary components to enable remote replication of storage and to concatenate several different storage systems into a single virtual array. The lack of difficulties despite a wide range of storage devices, HBAs, server types, and switches in the lab test network bodes well for real-world interoperability.
For administrators interested in only the virtualization
functions, the SA200f blade is also available as a 10-port appliance known as the SA100f, at a price of $27,500.