IBM has outlined its Fibre Channel storage strategy but maintains it will still support systems using its own SSA technology.
Tikiri Wanduragala, senior market consultant for the Netfinity server range at IBM UK, said the company will start to ship Fibre Channel systems in the next few months, using 64-bit interface cards that will connect at a distance of 10 kilometres to Fibre Channel drives.
He said that IBM will also produce Fibre Channel hard drives over the next few months. A number of its competitors in the hard drive business, including Quantum, have said they do not see the need for such devices.
The logic behind producing such drives was simple, he claimed. "In configurations beyond 20 devices you can kiss SCSI goodbye," he said.
Wanduragala said: "SSA will continue. Fibre Channel is an arbitrated system and the more devices you put on it, the slower it goes."
IBM will also ship a Fibre Channel hub with four short wave channels to sit between computer networks and disks, which will give better performance than dedicated PCs, the approach of rival suppliers, Wanduragala said.
IBM's Netfibre technology will offer 100Mbps host connections over 10 kilometres, include six Ultra-2 SCSI channels, come with an optional redundant Raid controller and hot pluggable power supplies and fans.
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