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Vol. 2 No. 8 October 2003

Can Cheap Fibre Channel HBAs Stave Off iSCSI?

Fibre Channel (FC) storage area networks (SANs) are everywhere in enterprise data centers, but complexity and price have kept them out of the small-to-medium-sized enterprise (SME). Today, adding a server to a SAN costs at least $1,800 in switch port and host bus adapter (HBA) costs alone, says Phil Brotherton, VP of marketing at HBA maker JNI, San Diego, CA. Unlike switch port pricing, which has dropped down to well under $1,000/port, HBA prices have remained steady, he says, because "it hasn't been in [QLogic] and [Emulex]'s interest to lower prices and show that there's elasticity in the market." This September, JNI announced its ZStar line of 2Gb/s HBAs for Windows and Linux, which will retail for less than $800. The ZStar HBA line also includes a Windows-based management and configuration tool, preset performance settings and JNI's No Reboot capability. That feature, first announced for JNI's Solaris HBAs, makes it so you don't have to reboot when you change the HBA's configuration. QLogic, headquartered in Aliso Viejo, CA,...

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Features in this issue

  • Spend less on storage

    by  Marc Farley

    Serial ATA disks can save you big bucks, but there's a bigger story here. By using RAID and a SAN, you can overcome many of its inherent reliability and performance limitations. It's time to rethink many of your assumptions about storage costs.

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