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H3C Preps Westward Move

H3C, the China-based networking vendor owned by 3Com, is heading for the U.S., armed with a variety of iSCSI SANs -- and a pitch that stresses low-cost hardware coupled with OEM'd software.

"I hope to change the impression among most customers that iSCSI is only for mid- to low-end [implementations]," says Lee Zhi, director of IP storage at H3C.

The H3C arsenal, set to be unveiled at U.S. and European trade shows this fall, includes the Neocean IX3000, a dual-controller iSCSI SAN with over 1,000 SAS/SATA II drives and a 10-Gbit/s Ethernet link. For those with more modest preferences, H3C will tote the IX1500, a 15-drive SATA/SAS iSCSI SAN with four 1-Gbit/s Ethernet links and integral VTL software from FalconStor. Both products will feature replication, mirroring, and management software, also from FalconStor.

Lee insists that most of the new wares will be available for shipment in October or November. Disk sizes will range to 750 Gbytes. H3C is testing 1-Tbyte drives and plans to offer them, perhaps in 2008. "Maybe the first or second quarter of 2008 will see the 1-Tbyte drives adopted by main dealers," he notes.

Lee also acknowledges there may be some Fibre Channel connectivity added to the new SANs, mainly to help customers interested in migrating from FC to SAS. "I think FC is a transition technology... Ten-gig Ethernet will become cheaper and cheaper... SAS is a disruptive technology in the storage area," he says.

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