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Orlando Braces for Industry Storm

When storage networking buyers and sellers convene in Orlando, Fla., for next week's Storage Networking World tradeshow, they'll be ready for the usual mix of expected announcements and unanticipated news. The question is: How big will the surprises be?

That depends. One industry analyst, who asked not to be named, thinks there may be a humdinger or two in store. Sample: EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) may use the show to unveil a new storage router, prior to taking it on a nationwide roadshow.

Other scuttlebutt has it that McData Corp. (Nasdaq: MCDTA) may get a jump on shipping the 256-port Intrepid 10000 Director in Orlando (see McData Goes on Offensive).

Watch out, too, for some activity related to service providers -- like a new WAN platform or two for storage services.

The show will also have its share of expected announcements, which are shaping up in a handful of key areas:

  • 4-Gig FC: Many products based on the 4-Gbit/s iteration of Fibre Channel are expected to hit the market next year. (See Byte and Switch Insider report, "4-Gbit/s Fibre Channel: The First Step Toward the Future.") The next generation will be on display in Orlando when a group of vendors show off their 4-Gbit/s wares in an interoperability demo. Featured products include adapters from Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A); HBAs from Emulex Corp. (NYSE: ELX); HBAs and fabric switches from QLogic Corp. (Nasdaq: QLGC); and storage enclosures from Xyratex Ltd. (Nasdaq: XRTX). Three servers will feed data through a SAN containing both 2-Gbit/s and 4-Gbit/s equipment, which the vendors say will demonstrate backward compatibility of the products.
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