With Cisco now on IBM's A-list, you can expect the other disk array players to put qualification on the fast track. Don't be surprised to see EMC and HPQ--along with HDS--to all be making similar announcements soon. If the MDS boxes actually work, it could spell real trouble for the Brocade SilkWorm 12000, as well as Inrange and McData high-end boxes. They'll find it hard to combat Cisco economically.

@exb

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How long do you figure it will take IBM's storage business to once again become irrelevant now that it's formally been rolled up underneath the server business unit again? The company made amazing strides once it took storage out of servers and now, it's putting them right back where they were when storage and IBM were oxymorons.
@exe

Speaking of chips, Vixel upgraded its switch chip to feature 20 ports. That gives them economic advantages strong enough to get all of the rest of the modular subsystem players (everyone but Compaq, who's already doing this) to realize that they're silly if they don't get rid of their loop backends. A switched back-end array will run I/O circles around a non-switched one. Vixel--after repeated false starts--seems to have found its niche in life.

Which reminds us, Gadzoox is back from the dead. By the time you read this, Broadcom will have bought them for a song.

EqualLogic owns the big OEM mindshare in the iSCSI storage space. Now, if there only were an iSCSI storage space.

Did you know Greg Reyes, Brocade CEO, owns a big chunk of the San Jose Sharks?

Biz is booming on the McData 4500 midrange line of switches. They've garnered a lot of OEM and end-user interest in what could be yet another bullet aimed at the Brocade juggernaut.

Have you ever heard a Nexsan pitch? They make it sound like their ATAboy (cheap ATA disks in a box) system is installed in more places than McDonald's has sold hamburgers, but has anyone ever seen one? Reality is they've been spotted at several VCs looking for moola. Maybe they are just really small...

Sorry for all the Fibre Channel talk. How about something entirely off beat--InfiniBand. We hear InfiniSwitch CEO Don Zereski is soon to be the X-CEO.

OmegaBand recently went Omega-gone, and money isn't getting dumped into the space anymore. VIEO is no longer an IB pure play, but a systems/network management player. Oddly, all the big OEMs finally have issued RFPs for IB products. InfiniCon, Paceline, and Topspin are in the pole position to extract some real business out of them.

Does anyone like optical disk? Anyone?

It's official--Computer Associates now has more lawyers than salespeople.

In case you haven't figured it out, on-demand computing, N1 and utility computing all mean grid, in one form or another.

How many attendees AT the Salomon Smith Barney storage conference contracted food poisoning? At least nine that we know of. We know business is bad, but....

Behind the Firewall is written by a team of industry insiders who, for obvious reasons, prefer to remain anonymous. If you have tips, send them to btf@storagemagazine.com.

This was first published in February 2003

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