Storage switch maker Brocade Communications Systems Inc. will announce its first low-end 2GB product this week, officials said.
On Tuesday, the San Jose, Calif., company will debut the SilkWorm 3200, an eight-port version of its flagship 128-port SilkWorm 12000, said Steve Beer, director of volume hardware platforms.
Except for the size and the lack of the 12000s high-availability and failover features, the products are essentially the same inside, he said. But the 3200 device is not a response to the recent industry criticism of Brocade for its limited success with the 12000, he said—in smaller organizations and even in large enterprises, "youll always need an edge switch," he said.
Brocade also hopes some customers will buy the 3200 and then grow into its higher-end products, he said.
The new product will cost "well under $1,000 a port." Channel partners, such as Compaq Computer Corp, Dell Computer Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and IBM, will determine the exact pricing, he said. There will be nine channel partners in total; the final street price will be competitive to rival Qlogic Corp.s eight-port 2GB product, which is in the $600-to-$700 range.
Brocade will gradually phase out its 1GB series, but the new products are backward compatible, Beer said.