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4-Gig's About Consolidation, Say Users

SAN DIEGO -- Storage Networking World -- The ability to consolidate servers is the major benefit of 4-Gbit/s Fibre Channel equipment today, according to a panel of users that took place here Tuesday evening.

Three panelists said you don't need sophisticated new SANs to take advantage of 4-Gbit/s FC. While end-to-end 4-Gbit/s SANs are just starting to show up, the increased bandwidth between host and storage already supplies enough benefits to make it worthwhile for them.

"The whole value proposition behind Fibre Channel SANs is you have more servers sharing the same amount of storage," said the panel moderator, Marc Staimer, president of Dragon Slayer Consulting. "With 4-Gig, you double the number of servers you can consolidate with the same amount of ports."

Users on the panel agreed. Qualcomm IT engineer Rob Mallory said he switched to 4-Gbit/s HBAs last year to more efficiently replicate more than 60 million files and 8 Tbytes of data between engineering teams in the wireless communications company's San Diego and India locations.

"The main driver for 4-Gig was increased IOPS [I/O operations per second] and low latency," Mallory said. "We designed a staging file server and distributed it in parallel to sites that were in time zones 12 hours away. We went to 4-Gig to give ourselves some headroom."

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