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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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