Qlogic, Cisco, Others Set on Streamlining Storage

Companies ranging from QLogic to Cisco are readying infrastructure and data-protection hardware to help users take advantage of future standards-based management software and utility computing concepts.

Companies ranging from QLogic Corp. to Cisco Systems Inc. are readying infrastructure and data-protection hardware to help users take advantage of future standards-based management software and utility computing concepts.

The products, which include Fibre Channel- and IP-based switches, larger and faster tape libraries, and host bus adapters with increased interoperability, will be unveiled this week at Storage Networking World in Phoenix.

QLogic, for example, will announce details of its SANbox2-64 switch, according to Rob Davis, vice president of advanced technology, in Aliso Viejo, Calif. Pricing for the switch starts at $27,000, which includes two eight-port blades, and scales to 64 ports, with built-in support for future 4G-bps and 10G-bps ports, Davis said. For small-to-medium-size enterprises, "you can either create a mesh, which is very messy, or you can buy a director, which is very expensive. This is designed to [address] both," he said.

SANbox2-64 will begin shipping from resellers and storage OEMs this summer, Davis said. In the future, QLogic plans to add ports that borrow iSCSI technology from the companys host bus adapters, as well as built-in management software, he said.

Kevin Spurgin, infrastructure manager at Alliance Enterprises Inc., uses a QLogic switch and Hewlett-Packard Co. storage arrays in a storage area network configuration. More so than with larger vendors, "QLogic was very good about what were doing," Spurgin said.

Cisco is expanding its lineup as well. To help users connect storage over long distances, the San Jose, Calif., company will announce at the show the FCIP (Fibre Channel-over-IP) protocol for its MDS (Multilayer DataCenter Switch) 9000 Series, 7200 Series and 7400 Series routers and its SN 5428-2 router, officials said.

In addition, Cisco will announce color-coded CWDM (coarse wavelength division multiplexing) modules for its various line cards, creating up to eight simultaneous Fibre Channel connections per port.

FCIP for MDS will ship this quarter; pricing was not yet available. The optical CWDM modules, also due this quarter, will cost $5,000 per Gigabit Interface Converter, officials said.

Also at SNW, HP, of Palo Alto, Calif., will announce upgraded tape libraries that bolster interoperability. The libraries include the low-end SSL1016, midrange MSL6030 and 6060, and high-end ESL9322 and 9595, said Frank Harbist, vice president and general manager of nearline storage.

The MSL models use two LTO (Linear Tape Open) drives, with SCSI Ultra 320 internal interfaces. It costs $8,999 for 30 slots or $17,998 for 60 slots. ESL versions have up to 16 LTO drives, at $95,000 for 322 slots and $112,000 for 595 slots, Harbist said. HP will also announce new Digital Data Storage-5 drives with 36GB of uncompressed capacity.

To help connect switches, libraries and other infrastructure, Adaptec Inc. will launch its ASA-7211 adapter, officials in Milpitas, Calif., said. The card has dual iSCSI interfaces and is available now for Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Linux. Its currently being certified for Network Appliance Inc. storage systems and for Windows Server 2003, officials said. It will ship this summer.

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