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End to end
There's usually a lag between when new technology components are introduced and when they're built into general-purpose storage arrays. HP expects to release an 8Gb/sec EVA array in 2009. Other vendors will probably follow in the same timeframe.
The industry will follow what it did with the previous FC speed transition; the 8Gb/sec components will automatically sense slower components and ratchet down the speed. As a result, the best an organization can do, end to end, today is 4Gb/sec--unless it wants to aggregate pairs of 4Gb/sec array ports.
Specialty storage vendor Facilis Technology Inc. demonstrated an end-to-end 8Gb/sec FC SAN for use in the high-resolution video industry in April using 8Gb/sec FC components from Atto Technology Inc. But like general-purpose storage vendors, Facilis is taking time to do the final engineering. "We're waiting for boards so we can do more testing and benchmarking," says Kathy Kane, director of business development.
IBM Corp. has announced three new 8Gb/sec switches: IBM System Storage SAN24B-4, SAN40B-4 and SAN80B-4. Pricing starts at $5,360, and the switches have higher port counts (up to 24, 40 and 80 ports, respectively) and, according to IBM, consume less power than previous models. IBM is also releasing three new 8Gb/sec switch blades for the IBM TotalStorage SAN256B director. And Cisco Systems Inc. will offer a "transparent" upgrade to 8Gb/sec for its MDS 9500 Series directors in Q4.
This was first published in July 2008