Storage component maker Vixel Corp. announced Monday a new version of its switch-on-a-chip product, which promises cheaper array prices and better SAN reliability for customers of midrange storage arrays.
The chip is a switched-architecture microchip that connects individual drives in parallel inside arrays. The new version has 20 ports, versus just 12 before, to accommodate storage vendors products of 16 data ports with two inputs and two outputs, officials explained.
It can save users money and rack space because OEMs no longer have to use two of the old version, said Tom Hammond-Doel, technical director of the Bothell, Wash., company.
Also new in the InSpeed SOC 320 are chip trunking, failover features, silicon speed versus the prior versions firmware speed, and more detailed diagnostics and trending, he said.
The product will ship by late March to storage vendors such as Hewlett-Packard Co. and Network Appliance Inc., he said. Both vendors use older versions in their entry-level systems, he said.
"Performance-wise, it gives them a little bit, but the big advantage it gives them is error isolation," said industry analyst Randy Kerns, of Evaluator Group Inc., referring to the new diagnostic and reliability enhancements. However, users can only get the technology from storage OEMs who specifically design around it, he said.
The SOC 320 would be a good fit for such products as EMC Corp.s Clariion or LSI Logic Corp.s E-series, Kerns said, in Greenwood Village, Colo. LSIs array is sold by IBM, as the FAStT, and by Storage Technology (StorageTek) Corp., as the D series.