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Vol. 1 No. 8 October 2002

High-Availability Switches Still a Moving Target

Brocade's Silkworm 12000 Fibre Channel switch has taken some hits for falling short of the high- availability standard set by McData and Inrange directors. Derek Granath, Brocade's director of product marketing, core switch platform, says a firmware upgrade to version 4.1 later this year will narrow that gap. The upgrade adds hot code activation capability to the existing hot code load capability. That will eliminate rebooting to activate new code - about 20 seconds, plus additional time if servers need to re-initialize paths. OEMs will qualify the new firmware toward the end of 2002. Brocade expects to ship products in the first quarter of 2003. Will hot code activation make the 12000 a high availability switch? Arun Taneja, senior analyst, Enterprise Storage Group, says today's 12000 is really a pseudo-director, but thinks "it is designed to be a director and will get it there in time." But Greg Schultz, director of storage networking at Inrange, points to the common chassis and controller shared by the 12000's left and right ...

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