Data centers

10:20 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Switching Gears

Fibre Channel SAN switching has taken some twists this year, with long- and short-term implications

The Fibre Channel switch landscape will look substantially different at the start of 2007 than it did at the start of 2006, thanks to a major acquisition and a handful of significant product rollouts.

Here's how the Fibre Channel switch market looked coming into 2006: Cisco was mounting a strong challenge to McData's historic dominance in directors, with Brocade trying to make a run due to its first mover advantage with its 4-Gbit/s gear. Brocade continued to dominate in fabric switches, with McData hoping to move up with its new Sphereon switches. Cisco didn't have a strong product line in fabric switches and QLogic was trying to get into the game as a low-cost alternative.

The big news since then is Brocade announced its pending $713 million acquisition of McData, expected to close early next year if all the antitrust regulation hurdles are cleared. (See Brocade Bags McData For $713M.) But two more recent product moves also change the scenery.

This week Cisco showed it is serious about fabric switches, with its MDS 9124 4-gig entry due to begin shipping through storage vendors in December. (See Cisco Salvo in 4-Gig FC.) The switch is Cisco's first 4-gig fabric switch, and its first switch that has enterprise features in common with its MDS 9500 director series.

That move came little more than a month after QLogic launched its first director, a 128-port device that can be stacked to support 256 ports. (See QLogic Grabs Director's Chair.)

Previous
1 of 3
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Cartoon
Slideshows
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
Jeremy Schulman, founder of Schprockits, a network automation startup operating in stealth mode, joins us to explore whether networking professionals all need to learn programming in order to remain employed.
White Papers
Register for Network Computing Newsletters
Current Issue
Research: 2014 State of the Data Center
Research: 2014 State of the Data Center
Our latest survey shows growing demand, fixed budgets, and good reason why resellers and vendors must fight to remain relevant. One thing's for sure: The data center is poised for a wild ride, and no one wants to be left behind.
Video
Twitter Feed