Brocade has announced plans to add support for the swiftly emerging new technologies of IP and Infiniband protocols to its new Fibre Channel switch.
The vendor, which has become known as the stalwart of the Fibre Channel industry, last week announced the launch of an addition to its SilkWorm family of products.
The SilkWorm 12000 Core Fabric Switch, available in both 64- and 128-port configurations and with 2Gbps Fibre Channel support, is due to ship in the fourth quarter, followed by support for 10Gbps Fibre Channel, IP and Infiniband protocols.
However, the company denied that its new strategy is moving it away from Fibre Channel technology.
Paul Trowbridge, director of marketing, Europe, Middle East & Africa, said: "Companies can become pigeon-holed into certain technologies, but we have always said that we deliver enterprise-class storage. Times and technologies are evolving, and we have to be ready to include new protocols. It doesn't mean that we are moving away from Fibre Channel technology."
Trowbridge also defended Fibre Channel systems from recent attacks by Nishan Systems and Cisco, whose own switching technology supports less expensive IP technology such as iSCSI and Ethernet. Trowbridge claimed that cost comparisons between the two technologies were a "misconception".
"To get the equivalent reliability and performance as Fibre Channel from a storage network based on IP, a company would need to change a lot of its hardware. With Fibre Channel, companies are experiencing return on investment within a year in some cases," he said.
Mike Smith, vice president of marketing at Brocade partner Emulex, said: "The new 12000 completely dovetails with our own 2Gbps solutions and further expands the storage area network [San] options for Emulex customers by providing multi-protocol support for Sans. Our strategic partnership with Brocade enables our open approach to delivering scaleable heterogeneous Sans."
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