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4-Gig Fans Fawn

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Storage Networking World -- Engenio, the only major vendor shipping 4-Gbit/s storage arrays, rounded up a handful of early adopters here today to discuss their implementations -- all based on a need for high performance.

Engenio has had a 4-Gbit/s array since February that it sells through OEM deals with IBM, Silicon Graphics, and Sun Microsystems. It's been joined by switch maker Brocade and HBA vendors Emulex and QLogic in peddling 4-Gbit/s early on.

But other leading storage vendors say 2-Gbit/s will suffice until all 4-Gbit/s components are available. Cisco just rolled out 4-Gbit/s switches this week and has yet to ship 4-Gbit/s directors. EMC hasn't announced 4-Gbit/s products. And no 4-Gbit/s hard drives are expected until next year.

The early 4-Gbit/s vendors say theres no reason not to move up now -- 4-Gbit/s gear is priced about the same as 2-Gbit/s and is backward compatible. Others say 4-Gbit/s is merely marketing hype until the full infrastructure is available.

Of course, Engenio packed today’s panel with users who feel a need for 4-Gbit/s gear. The customers were Pacific Title & Art Studio of Hollywood, Calif., St. Mary’s and All Angels School of Aliso Viejo, Calif., and Wichita Clinic in Wichita, Kansas.

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