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Vol. 3 No. 5 July 2004

Disks Get Switched

The behind-the-scenes march by storage system vendors to switch disks within the array began a couple of years ago, but recent announcements from providers of storage silicon suggest that the pace is quickening. As a result, storage buyers should begin to see high-end arrays with better availability and performance characteristics than what they are currently used to. This spring, PMC-Sierra announced a 4Gb cut-through switch, or loop switch, which the company bills as a big improvement to the intelligent port bypass circuit (PBC) it announced in 2003. More recently, the semi-conductor company Broadcom, which has shown an intense interest in the storage market, announced an entire 4Gb/sec 16-port fabric--as opposed to loop--switch designed to go inside high-density arrays. The trend of switching disks within the array was arguably started by Vixel when it introduced its InSpeed switch on a chip (SOC) more than two years ago. Vixel has since been acquired by Emulex, which recently reported it had shipped more than 2 million ...

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Features in this issue

  • Technology Report: WORM Tape

    WORM tape is increasingly being used for long-term archival purposes. Why? Because it's cheap, portable and satisfies today's demanding regulations.

  • First Look: Copan Systems Revolution 200T

    by  Lawrence Didsbury

    Can the Revolution 200T, which uses a new technology called MAID, straighten up your messy backup situation?

  • Tune down costs

    by  Marc Farley

    To save money and get the best performance, match the right type of storage with the application it's best suited for. We list several practical ways to optimize your storage.

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