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8-Gig Fibre Hits Roadmaps

Emulex, QLogic, and Cisco make plans, though cost issues are shadowy

Hardware vendors are quietly planning to roll out the first 8-Gbit/s Fibre Channel products within a year, though users may still take some convincing to make the leap from 4 Gbit/s.

"Our OEMs are driving us to have 8-Gbit/s products to them by the end of '07," Jim McCluney, the CEO of HBA manufacturer Emulex told Byte & Switch today.

It is likely to be sometime in 2008, though, before the vendor's OEM partners, which include IBM, Dell, HP, and Sun, push products out to market. "Most of the server and storage people will take a year to test these things out," he says.

Emulex's rival QLogic is also planning to crank up its 8-Gbit/s strategy in 2007 to meet demand from OEMs. "All of our Fibre Channel products will roll to 8-gig, both switches and HBAs, as soon as possible," says Frank Berry, QLogic's VP of marketing.

Factors driving demand for 8-Gbit/s Fibre Channel include the growing popularity of video applications and server virtualization, according to Berry. "Video is on the top of the list -- those guys can never get enough performance, there's no such thing as too much bandwidth."

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