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QLogic's 2GB/s switches missed the kudos they deserved

QLogic's 2GB/s switches have arrived. How will they fit in the market?

QLogic's 2GB/s switches missed the kudos they deserved
By Alan Earls

Last week when we heralded the imminent shipment of 2GB/s switching equipment by Vixel, slated for June 28, we missed the latest move by QLogic the day before. Apparently, QLogic Corp. began shipping its SANbox2 16-port Fibre Channel 2 GB/s switches to distribution partners such as Bell Microproducts, Consan and Tech Data Corporation one day earlier, on the 27th.

So here are the facts on QLogic's accomplisment. Originally announced back in November of 2000, the SANbox2 switch joins QLogic's SANblade 2300 Series host bus adapters to complete what the company calls "the channel's first and only end-to-end 2 Gigabit SAN infrastructure."

Although Enterprise Storage Group Senior Analyst Steve Duplessie downplayed the significance of 2GB/s technology in discussing technology from Gadzoox and Vixel, QLogic strongly defends the importance of this milestone. "The SAN market is clearly moving to a new level of performance with the availability of 2 Gigabit products," says Dino Balafas, director of switch product marketing. "The QLogic SANbox2 delivers 2 Gigabit performance now at 1 Gigabit prices, and it protects customers' investments in 1 Gigabit technology by delivering optimal performance with both 1 Gigabit and 2 Gigabit devices," he adds.

William Hurley, an analyst with Yankee Group, Inc., Boston, Mass. says the QLogic accomplishment is a "good step," since 1GB/s can become saturated. However, he notes, there is generally still plenty of upside for most customers of 1GB/s and Fibre Channel. Given current spending patterns for storage, Hurley says, "I hope they didn't break the bank to develop it because in today's environment, it may be a slow sell."

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About the author: Alan Earls is a freelance writer in Franklin, MA.

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