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Dot Hill Doubles Fibre Channel Bandwidth

Storage hardware OEM Dot Hill Systems today unveiled the 3000 series, an all-new line of rack-mounted storage area network arrays that support the 8Gb/s Fibre Channel speed variant as well as dual-interface models that add 1Gb/s iSCSI support, effectively bridging the two protocols without the need for a second network. The 3000 series is available now to OEMs and will begin shipping under the Dot Hill brand next week.

The new 3000 series doubles the specified throughput of Dot Hill's 2000-series arrays. The 3730 (3.5-inch) and 3720 (2.5-inch) are a pair of dual-port 8Gb/s Fibre Channel 2U arrays that respectively can handle 12 and 24 drives each. The 3930 and 3920 are dual-interface models, with 1Gb/s iSCSI interface upgradeable to 10Gb/s.

"This lets you introduce iSCSI into an established Fibre Channel space without having to disrupt it," said Andy Mills, Dot Hill's vice president of marketing and business development, speaking of companies who'd like to migrate to from Fibre Channel iSCSI or vice versa. "We're cost effectively bringing Fibre Channel into the low-end space. This reduces the number of channels needed because you can pump more data through and reducing the complexities of maintaining multiple storage networks." 

Mills said the move also is "designed to 'uplife' our 4Gb/s Fibre Channel products firmly into the 8Gb/s generation" and "reinvent the entry level," with street prices expected to be less than US$15,000 for a system fully loaded with serial ATA (SATA) drives and a Fibre Channel host connect, or around $20,000 for the faster 6Gb/s SAS (serial-attached SCSI) drives.  

"Choice is always good when it comes to storage," said George Crump, founder and chief steward of Storage Switzerland and Network Computing contributor. "I'm always nervous about iSCSI-only solutions, so if you can get Fibre Channel and iSCSI in the same box, not needing a separate network is a good thing, assuming the technology works." Crump confirmed that the pricing is where it needs to be. "This is very interesting. If you want Fibre Channel performance, you've got a cost effective 8Gb solution."

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