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Startup Leads iSCSI HBA Speed Race

Startup Chelsio Communications Inc. is showing off its 10-Gig Ethernet iSCSI HBA -- and the rest of the competitive pack isnt breaking any speed records to catch up.

Chelsio demonstrated its high-speed HBA last month at the Gt’04 supercomputing conference in Philadelphia and will do so again next week at Storage World in Long Beach, Calif. (see Chelsio Debuts 10-GigE HBA). But it probably won’t be until its competition joins the 10-Gig party that Chelsio will be confident it's got demand for its product.

Other iSCSI HBA vendors such as Adaptec Inc. (Nasdaq: ADPT), QLogic Corp. (Nasdaq: QLGC), and Alacritech Inc.

are still puttering along at 1-Gig speeds. They say it's not because they can’t do 10-Gig -- they just see no compelling reason to do so yet for an iSCSI market still in its infancy.

Still, 10-Gig Ethernet is expected to eventually help iSCSI's adoption rate increase because it makes it more competitive with Fibre Channel.

“There aren’t many people looking at iSCSI today that need 10-Gig speed,” says Linley Gwennap of the The Linley Group. “They’re still using 1-Gig. But it’s nice to know there’s a growth path. Chelsio is certainly pretty far ahead of the market, but there’s always bleeding-edge guys out there pushing the limit.”

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