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Double Vision for FC SANs

Fibre Channel connections will double by 2008 -- unhindered by iSCSI, according to Dell'Oro Group.

The market research firm predicts Fibre Channel switch revenues will grow 17 percent and Fibre Channel HBAs 11 percent over five years, with combined revenues going from $1.8 billion last year to $3.6 billion in 2008. On a per-port basis, shipments will grow more than 40 percent by next year, the firm says.

DellOro sees especially strong growth on the low end, owing to an ongoing trend toward companies replacing direct-attached storage with SANs. Product upgrades such as the move to 4-Gbit/s speeds and new markets such as blade servers will be growth drivers. (See Broadcom Barrels Into 4-Gig, 4-Gig for Show, Setting the Stage for Faster FC, On the Edge of a Blade, IBM, Brocade Tie SAN Knot, and Egenera Seeks IPO.)

In all, Dell'Oro predicts blade, fabric, and entry-level Fibre Channel switches with fixed port counts -- what are typically termed "fabric switches" -- will more than triple from 1.7 million ports shipped this year to 6.2 million ports shipped in 2008.

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