The growing size of databases, demanding new storage-hungry applications such as video and social media, and compliance requirements are all factors contributing to the need for storage technologies that are fast and efficient. The storage systems supporting these applications must also be interoperable with the myriad of complementary systems on the network. Through the Fibre Channel, iSCSI, SATA and Data Center Bridging consortiums, the UNH-IOL helps storage target, networking switch, converged network adapter (CNA), hard drive and host bus adapter vendors overcome the challenges associated with the growing need for increases in storage capabilities. The lab provides a cost effective way for these companies to verify conformance to a variety of data storage standards, as well as to ensure product interoperability in multivendor environments.
Since 2003, Dell has been collaborating with the UNH-IOL to test the conformance and interoperability of its products in several consortiums. Dell's membership in consortiums, such as DCB and iSCSI, allows Dell to supplement in-house interoperability testing of its EqualLogic products by utilizing the UNH-IOL. As an extension of its internal staff, Dell frees up the testing resources allowing for time to focus on Dell's core mission. In addition, the UNH-IOL's membership model enables Dell to supplement its research and development scope, while reducing time to market for EqualLogic products.
"With our memberships in the UNH-IOL consortiums, we can bring products to market faster," said Peter Thompson, director of storage networking at Dell. "There is no way to put a price on that. It's critical."
"Because the UNH-IOL is so ahead of the curve, we are able to identify ways to improve and adjust our product well ahead of schedule," added Kirt Gillum, engineering manager at Dell. "It's an absolute head start in the race to the market place."
As an independent organization, the UNH-IOL is committed to neutral testing of emerging and existing data storage technologies to ensure credible results.
Membership in the DCB Consortium gives members, such as Dell, the opportunity to test against the recently completed IEEE 802.1 DCB standard. Once implemented, the DCB standard will enable data center operators and large enterprises to save money by converging multiple networks into a single, enhanced Ethernet network.
Members of the UNH-IOL's iSCSI Consortium have seen the benefit of DCB to iSCSI's performance and have joined the DCB Consortium for testing of their iSCSI products.
The Fibre Channel Consortium gives members access to the new FCoE Initialization Protocol (FIP) and VLAN Discovery testing service, as well as the previously released FCoE Encapsulation test suite, both of which will lend to improved performance and scalability in data centers.
Additionally, as an approved SATA-IO test lab, membership in the UNH-IOL's SATA Consortium lets companies participate in the testing required to attain the SATA-IO Logo, and therefore enables the companies to submit products for inclusion on the SATA-IO Integrators List.
"The interoperability and conformance testing performed at the UNH-IOL is essential for globally recognized companies like Dell in ensuring the development and delivery of a high quality product that customers can trust," said Mikkel Hagen, senior engineer for the UNH-IOL.
The UNH-IOL collaborative testing model distributes the cost of performing trusted, independent testing and validation through an annual membership. The annual fees for participation in the UNH-IOL's Data Storage consortiums range from $14,000 to $22,000. More information on becoming a member of the Data Storage consortiums at the UNH-IOL can be found at http://www.iol.unh.edu/services/testing/.
About the UNH-IOL
Founded in 1988, the UNH-IOL provides independent, broad-based interoperability and standards conformance testing for data, telecommunications and storage networking products and technologies. Combining extensive staff experience, standards bodies participation and a 32,000+ square foot facility, the UNH-IOL helps companies efficiently and cost effectively deliver products to the market. For more information, visit http://www.iol.unh.edu/, or connect with the UNH-IOL on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UNHIOL, on Twitter at @UNH_IOL and on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/company/unh-interoperability-lab.
UNH-IOL Marketing and Communications Manager
Marc Sklar, +1-603-862-1694
Subudhi Consulting Group, Inc. for UNH-IOL
Christine Carlson, +1-804-612-5394