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Woven Systems is also helping drive down 10GbE prices. The market newcomer unveiled its 10GbE switch, the EFX 1000 Ethernet Fabric Switch, which offers as many as 144 10GbE ports at $1,500 per port--the lowest per-port price to date. The EFX 1000 provides multipath fabrics, and can automatically detect packet congestion and redirect traffic to less-congested paths. By comparison, its nearest competitor, Foundry Networks, offers BigIron RX-32, a competing switch with 128 10GbE ports, at a base cost of $1,523 per port.
"The impact of Woven [Systems] will be that they will be a disruptive technology; they'll force Cisco to drop their prices and probably copy their technology and get it more widely deployed," says Andrew Reich-mann, an analyst at Forrester Research, Cambridge, MA.
While 10GbE is typically perceived as a technology that could boost iSCSI adoption once it becomes more affordable, analysts say the technology could have the same or stronger impact on Fibre Channel over Ethernet, a protocol backed by several of the major storage vendors that could rival iSCSI despite its current lack of standardization.
"For environments that already have a Fibre Channel infrastructure, that may become a more attractive option than going to iSCSI at all," says Wheeler. "So that's a significant development [in terms of] iSCSI at [the] 10GbE rate."
-- Trina MacDonald
This was first published in July 2007