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Xiotech Tacks on Tiers

Xiotech Corp. is the latest vendor to announce a "Fibre Channel lite" drive to provide a lower-cost option for customers that yearn for the performance of disk-based backup -- but not its price.

Xiotech today announced that its Magnitude 3D SAN arrays will feature a new Fibre Channel-compatible drive called Economy Enterprise at roughly 60 to 70 percent the cost of the vendor's full-fledged FC drives. Xiotech also has serial ATA (SATA) drives at roughly 30 to 40 percent the cost of full-fledged FC (see Xiotech Rolls Out Drives, New EVP ).

Xiotech says all three kinds of drives can use the same controller in the same Magnitude 3D console and operate as one cluster under the vendor's management software. The Economy Enterprise drives are available now, but the SATA option won't ship until the third quarter of this year.

Xiotech, which has made a solid start for itself in the market, is the latest vendor to announce a "tiered" storage strategy, in which different types of disk drives populate one storage array (see Top Ten Private Companies: Early Summer 2004, page 5). The idea is to broaden customer options for disk backup.

"The goal is the right purpose for the right media," says Mike Stolz, Xiotech's new executive VP of marketing -- formerly of Adaptec Inc. (Nasdaq: ADPT) and Eurologic -- whose appointment at Xiotech is also part of the company's news this week.

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