Fibre Channel switch vendor 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-port and 128-port configurations and with 2Gbps Fibre Channel
support, is due to ship in the fourth quarter, followed by support for a
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 for EMEA,
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
It doesn't mean that we are moving away from Fibre Channel
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
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, and 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 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.'