Orlando Braces for Industry Storm

Next week's SNW will showcase FC, iSCSI, and low-end SAN - and maybe a surprise or two

October 23, 2004

3 Min Read
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When storage networking buyers and sellers convene in Orlando, Fla., for next week's Storage Networking World tradeshow, they'll be ready for the usual mix of expected announcements and unanticipated news. The question is: How big will the surprises be?

That depends. One industry analyst, who asked not to be named, thinks there may be a humdinger or two in store. Sample: EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) may use the show to unveil a new storage router, prior to taking it on a nationwide roadshow.

Other scuttlebutt has it that McData Corp. (Nasdaq: MCDTA) may get a jump on shipping the 256-port Intrepid 10000 Director in Orlando (see McData Goes on Offensive).

Watch out, too, for some activity related to service providers -- like a new WAN platform or two for storage services.

The show will also have its share of expected announcements, which are shaping up in a handful of key areas:

  • 4-Gig FC: Many products based on the 4-Gbit/s iteration of Fibre Channel are expected to hit the market next year. (See Byte and Switch Insider report, "4-Gbit/s Fibre Channel: The First Step Toward the Future.") The next generation will be on display in Orlando when a group of vendors show off their 4-Gbit/s wares in an interoperability demo. Featured products include adapters from Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A); HBAs from Emulex Corp. (NYSE: ELX); HBAs and fabric switches from QLogic Corp. (Nasdaq: QLGC); and storage enclosures from Xyratex Ltd. (Nasdaq: XRTX). Three servers will feed data through a SAN containing both 2-Gbit/s and 4-Gbit/s equipment, which the vendors say will demonstrate backward compatibility of the products.Separately, Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD) will announce its 4-Gbit/s switch at the show, though it will not take part in the demo.

  • iSCSI: IP SAN startup Intransa Inc. will take the wraps off its new IP5500 iSCSI SAN. The product is now available, and Intransa says it extends the company's reach higher into the midrange, offering a modular architecture for adding storage and controllers. New disk enclosures can be connected to the system for a maximum capacity of 48 Tbytes. Pricing starts at $60,000 for a 2-Tbyte configuration and $66,000 for a 4-Tbyte configuration.

  • SMBs: The SNW show should highlight efforts by Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) to push its plans for small to medium-sized business products. The Redmond Sasquatch will take the stage with Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) and QLogic at a news conference unveiling a new low-end SAN based on Windows Server 2003. As part of Microsoft's Simple SAN program, the new SAN will bring together OS, storage, and switch components of the three vendors into a single package.

  • ILM: With information lifecycle management the watchword from EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) on this week's earning's call (see Tucci Touts ILM), expect to see "ILM" pop up regularly at the show, even in some unexpected places. And expect us to be looking for the funkiest, most far-out, totally irrelevant use of the term we can find. Stay tuned!

Brett Mendel, Senior Analyst, Byte and Switch Insider

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