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QLogic Stacks SMB Deck

QLogic Corp. (Nasdaq: QLGC) today unveiled a 10-Gbit/s SAN product geared to making the term "entry-level Fibre Channel switch" less of an oxymoron in the storage industry (see QLogic Launches SANbox, SANtrack).

Qlogic calls the SANbox 5200, announced earlier this year (see QLogic Gets Stacked) but generally available now, a stackable Fibre Channel switch akin to the stackable Ethernet switches that debuted a decade ago from the likes of networking vendors like Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and 3Com Corp. (Nasdaq: COMS). Qlogic's aiming to provide storage administrators with the same kind of low-cost box that can be augmented in modular fashion.

Qlogic's SANbox is a fixed-port switch that comes in 4-, 8-, 12-, or 16-port versions, each of which can be stacked together to operate as one 64-port switch. All ports are auto-detecting 1- to 2-Gbit/s Fibre Channel. Prices start at $5,795 for an 8-port configuration. Qlogic's added software that enables wizard setup to further ease of installation.

Qlogic is also offering a full 10-Gbit/s link between switches -- something not offered by other FC switch vendors just yet, including Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD), Cisco, and McData Corp. (Nasdaq: MCDTA). That's expected to change by midyear, when both Cisco and McData expect to have their 10-Gbit/s products out. Brocade says it's also moving toward 10-Gbit/s but hasn't given a date.

Figure 1:

SANbox 5200 in 64-port configuration. Source: Qlogic

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