StorageTek Goes 4-Gbps With New SAN Arrays, Switches

StorageTek's product launch follows that of SGI, which introduced its 4-Gbps Fibre Channel array in February.

Both the StorageTek FlexLine FLX380 array and the SGI InfiniteStorage TP9700 array are based on Milpitas, Calif.-based Engenio's 6998 controller technology.

In order to help solution providers start building 4-Gbps SANs, Louisville, Colo.-based StorageTek also is planning to ship the Brocade Silkworm 4100 4-Gbps Fibre Channel switch.

Jay Seifert, senior product marketing manager of the Information Lifecycle Management Solutions group at StorageTek, said the FLX380 offers three times the number of I/Os per second and twice the throughput of his company's current 2-Gbps array, the FLX280.

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It has up to eight 4-Gbps ports compared to four 2-Gbps ports for the FLX280, and comes with in Intel Xeon 2.4-GHz processor compared to the older Pentium III 850-MHz CPU. The FLX380 allows cache to expand to up to 16 Gbytes, Seifert said.

Because 4-Gbps products are backward-compatible with 2-Gbps equipment, the transition to 4-Gbps SANs is an easy one for solution providers, Seifert said.

"It lets them build SANs for customers with more performance and less trunking than before," he said.

The FLX380 is expected to ship within the next 30 days. Starting price is about $100,000 for an array with a capacity of about 900 Gbytes, compared to about $85,000 for a similarly-configured FLX280, Siefert said.