QLogic Targets Small Businesses With SAN Express Line

The Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based storage networking vendor on Wednesday unveiled the SAN Express family of SAN hardware and software, said Frank Berry, vice president of corporate marketing at QLogic. The line includes the SANblade Express 200, SANbox Express 1400 and the SANsurfer Express. Solution providers can order the components separately or as a bundled SAN solution, he said.

The SANblade Express 200 is a Fibre Channel host bus adapter with only one port, whereas most HBAs have two or four ports, Berry said. A single-port HBA creates a possible point of failure in a storage network, he said. "But that's the trade-off for lower cost," he said.

About the size of a typical cable or DSL router, the SANbox Express 1400 is a 10-port Fibre Channel SAN switch with an integrated PowerPC chip. SANsurfer Express is a new application for managing HBAs and switches.

The bundled solution, called the SAN Express Starter Kit, includes one switch, two HBAs, software, cables, optical connectors and an installation poster, Berry said. Priced at $3,295, the bundle compares with a previously released QLogic package with higher-end components priced at $9,999. The price of that bundle now stands at about $6,999.

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Along with the products, QLogic is piloting a new program to offer solution providers technical training in the SAN Express line, Berry said. The program also gives VAR sales staff information on how to prospect small- and midsize-business customers vs. enterprises, spotlighting the difference between selling a low-cost SAN and a high-end SAN, he said.

The training will help ensure that QLogic channel partners can succeed in selling small-business SANs, Berry added. "This technology goes nowhere without a channel," he said.

The new products are slated to ship in about three weeks, but they can be ordered now through Tech Data and Bell Microproducts, Berry said.