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Access "Is Low-Cost Fibre Channel Finally Here?"

Published: 17 Oct 2012

A lot can happen in a couple of years. Two years ago, storage salespeople's unofficial modus operandi was to ignore storage area network (SAN) buyers that didn't have at least $250,000 to spend. (See "SAN Vendors Cater to Frugal Crowd"). Now, a new Fibre Channel (FC) switch from QLogic, the SANbox 5200, has a street price of under $500/port. The SANbox 5200 is a 20-port switch, 16 of which run at 2Gb/s, the other four at 10Gb/s to join multiple 5200s. Up to four 5200s can be connected via the 10Gb/s inter-switch links (ISLs), for a total of 64 useable ports. In contrast, to combine multiple Brocade switches, for example, you have to trunk multiple ports together. This helps prevent oversubscription--when hosts require more bandwidth than a port can provide--but wastes ports and requires additional software licenses. But the 5200 does have its limits, says Frank Berry, QLogic vice president of marketing; for example, it doesn't feature redundant power supplies. "For high-end applications, you still need a high-end switch." Its silicon, however, requires less ... Access >>>

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What's Inside

  • Columns
    • EMC and NetApp still think they're competitors

      Storage Bin: EMC and NetApp still think they're competitors; they spend time and money planning defense strategies. Maybe if they paused to think for a minute, they'd see that they're two successful companies growing in vastly different directions.

    • Tiered storage: Heterogeneous vs. homogeneous by Stephen Foskett

      Tiered storage is a hot idea, but implementing it can be trickier than appears. This article defines the two different approaches--heterogeneous and homogeneous--and helps you choose the strategy you should employ.

    • Booting from the SAN by Darryl Brooks

      Although booting from the SAN isn't a widespread practice, it gives an organization many choices in the way it manages server and storage infrastructures.

    • Snapshot: Single initiator zoning

      Do you practice single-initiator zoning?

    • How to manage your data storage growth by Jon Oltsik

      The growth seen by Hopkinton, MA, the home of EMC, is similar to the challenges faced by IT professionals. Here's how to manage your growing storage town.

    • What a difference a year makes by Mark Schlack

      What a difference a year makes

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