SGI: First To Unveil 4-Gbps Array

The new InfiniteStorage TP9700 RAID array from Mountain View, Calif.-based SGI is based on storage technology from Engenio Information Technologies, said Laura Shepard, marketing manager for the InfiniteStorage product.

Shepard said SGI is the first to introduce a 4-Gbps SAN array, the latest in a string of firsts for the company. SGI rolled out the first 1-Gbps SAN products in 1998, the first 2-Gbps SAN products in 2001 and was the first to ship 10-Gbps NAS products last year.

While SGI does not build its own storage hardware, the company adds value with its software, which allows solution providers to use its arrays as the centerpiece of data life-cycle management and data-protection solutions, said Shepard. "Our packaged solutions offer value-added opportunities to the channel," she said.

SGI's 4-Gbps array comes to market just as other components necessary to build 4-Gbps SANs become available. For instance, QLogic and Brocade Communications offer 4-Gbps SAN switches, while Emulex offers a 4-Gbps embedded storage switch. On Monday, EMC executives said the company will begin to offer 4-Gbps SAN switches built by Brocade.

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Meanwhile, Emulex and LSI Logic have started offering customers 4-Gbps host-bus adapters.

The InfiniteStorage TP9700 can be used either as a stand-alone SAN array, in conjunction with SGI's SAN/NAS gateway products to consolidate SAN and NAS storage, or can be integrated with tiered storage products as part of a data life-cycle management solution, Shepard said.

The array offers eight Fibre Channel ports and bandwidth of up to 1,600 MBps. "Customers get faster access to data than previously possible," she said.

SGI executives Tuesday also said the company has expanded its channel with the addition of four new North American solution providers: NetSource Storage, Littleton, Colo.; Open Systems Solutions, Yardley, Pa.; RedBridge IT, San Carlos, Calif.; and Zentra, Calgary, Alberta.