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Vol. 2 No. 10 December 2003

Is Low-Cost Fibre Channel Finally Here?

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 ...

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Features in this issue

  • The pitfalls of smart switches

    Do you want to centralize storage management, cut costs and make your life a whole lot easier? There are a number of storage vendors promising these very things by creating products that move intelligence into the fabric, but smart fabrics will have their own issue.

  • Hot technologies in 2004

    In 2004, flexible, affordable new technologies are beginning to emerge that will open the door for smaller companies and allow them to sample some advanced storage strategies.

  • Reeling in a bigger salary

    The results from the first official survey of storage jobs are out, and you'll want to check them before either your staff's or your own performance review.

  • Starting the ILM process

    Information life cycle management (ILM) is the buzz right now. But too much emphasis is being put on products and not enough on understanding that ILM is really a process. Before you buy in, here's how to analyze what it means for you.

  • Sunny Day for Storage Consolidation

    Avant-garde storage consolidation

  • Is there a need for more speed?

    by  Jeff Moad

    Fibre Channel switch and HBA vendors will be shipping 10Gb/s gear in early 2004. The Fibre Channel Industry Association has just backed a 4Gb/s standard, yet how necessary is this when some enterprises have only recently migrated from 1Gb/s to 2Gb/s?

Columns in this issue

  • 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.

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