Sandial Systems, Inc., a pioneer in the emerging storage network backbone market, unveiled a new management platform that harnesses Sandial's ConnectIQ network intelligence to usher in a new era of Intelligent Network Services (INS). The new ShadowWorks Backbone Management Platform (BMP) hosts a variety of software modules that empower enterprises with value added network services such as network performance profiling, time-of-day network policy configuration, service level agreement (SLA) administration and network policy emulation, among others.

As part of today's announcement, Sandial unveiled the first in a suite of software modules developed for the ShadowWorks BMP, the ShadowWorks Network Performance Profiler (NPP). The ShadowWorks NPP is first-of-its-kind profiling tool that helps IT professionals analyze network traffic trends over time to proactively architect strategic SANs and discover new opportunities to improve application performance through network policies.

In the coming months, Sandial plans to announce additional BMP modules that deliver a range of Intelligent Network Services, including:

  • Advanced Policy Configuration
  • SLA Administration
  • Network Accounting and Billing
  • Network Policy Emulation and Staging
  • Network Protocol and Traffic Analysis

ShadowWorks NPP leverages Sandial's ConnectIQ intelligence to profile network performance over time at the connection, policy, switch and network level, creating a first-of-its-kind "SAN Performance Index" that gives administrators at-a-glance visibility into overall network performance and utilization. Through the SAN Performance Index, administrators can determine how efficiently their network resources are being utilized, whether congestion is impacting application performance and how well their host and storage resources are aligned through the network.
In addition to the SAN Performance Index, ShadowWorks NPP provides SAN hotspot analysis, allowing administrators to quickly visualize problem SAN conditions and drill-down into the source to determine specifically when, where and to what degree congestion is impacting application performance and how effectively storage controllers are able to service initiator demand.

With the in-depth network visibility the ShadowWorks NPP provides, IT Professionals can ensure that the network is optimized to best support business-critical applications during the times of day, week, month or year that matter most.

The ShadowWorks Backbone Management Platform and its supporting modules derive their intelligence from ConnectIQ, Sandial's connection-oriented switching architecture launched in February 2004 as the foundation of the Shadow 14000(TM) Storage Backbone Switch. ConnectIQ recognizes individual traffic flows from source port to destination port to enable unprecedented levels of visibility and control of storage network performance. By harnessing this intelligence, the ShadowWorks BMP provides a foundation for administrators to bring new value to the SAN through the industry's most advanced storage network visibility and control features.

Since the official release of the ShadowWorks BMP in March 2004, Sandial has delivered the platform to several new and existing enterprise customers to bring Intelligent Network Services to their SANs. For example, Rural Achievement Zone, an innovative U.K.-based government project that is developing IT infrastructures to bring 21st century learning opportunities to rural schools and communities, has deployed the ShadowWorks NPP in order gain greater visibility into their storage network backbone. 

The ShadowWorks Backbone Management Platform and ShadowWorks Network Performance Profiler are available immediately through Sandial's direct sales force and through select systems integrators and storage OEMs. List pricing for the ShadowWorks BMP with the NPP module starts at $14,950.

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