Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IBM Drives 4-Gbit/s

IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) hopes next month to become the first major SAN vendor to offer a 4-Gbit/s Fibre channel system.

The keyword here is "major." Though Storage Technology Corp. (StorageTek) (NYSE: STK) began shipping a system based on Engenios 4-Gbit/s controller in April, it's not considered a major SAN system vendor (see IDC: Networked Storage Up). Meanwhile, EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) haven’t yet announced 4-Gbit/s ship dates as storage vendors remain split on 4-Gbit/s timing (see Four-Gig HBAs on Parade).

IBM plans June 17 shipment of the 4-Gbit/s DS4800 system, based on the Engenio Information Technologies Inc. 6998 controller and Engenio SANtricity management software (see Engenio Intros 4-Gbit/s FC Storage). The DS4800 will be the new high end of the DS4000 family that IBM sells through an OEM deal with Engenio. As for the existing family members, IBM will continue to ship its 2-Gbit/s DS4500 while discontinuing the 1-Gbit/s DS4400.

The IBM DS4800 comes with dual hot-swappable Engenio controllers, which in turn include eight 4-Gbit/s host-site ports and eight 4-Gbit/s drive-side ones. The system will scale to 67 Tbytes capacity. Pricing begins at $54,000.

IBM is clearly taking the view that the market's ready for 4-Gbit/s now, though others say customers are still satisfied with 2-Gbit/s and that systems won’t run at 4-Gbit/s until switches, HBAs, and hard drives all are available at that speed.

  • 1