A group of leading storage equipment and software producers will develop 10Gbps and 4Gbps storage area network (San) products, following endorsement from the fibre channel industry association (FCIA).
Agilent Technologies, FalconStor Software, Fujitsu, JNI, Seagate and QLogic will initially double throughput from the current 2Gbps maximum, maintaining backwards compatibility.
Increasing demand for high-bandwidth applications such as real-time transaction processing and voice and video streaming has driven the need for greater data transfer bandwidth.
Inside storage products, 4Gbps and 10Gbps technology has been deployed for some time, but FCIA members have only just voted to extend support for the standards to the switched San fabrics.
"We are pleased the FCIA has once again helped prevent industry fragmentation by providing a clear and concise road map for fibre channel migration as well as invaluable market feedback into the fibre channel standards community of engineering professionals," said FCIA chairman, Skip Jones, in a statement.
The 10Gbps technology will not be backwards compatible, but Robin Purohit, vice president of product management at storage software vendor Veritas, said the huge performance leap would make the 10Gbps market much bigger.
But he added: "I think 4Gbps will be short-lived because it won't give companies the economies of scale they need."
However, FalconStor's chief technology officer, Wai Lam, said 4Gbps fabric would enable FalconStor's customers to "fully leverage advanced storage services offered by [FalconStor's] IPStor, including ultra-fast, windowless back-up and rapid data replication and recovery."
Among the other vendors offering the higher bandwidth technology, QLogic will provide embedded enterprise San products, Agilent fibre optic transceivers, Fujitsu and Seagate 4Gbps and later 10Gbps hard drive interfaces, and JNI FibreStar host bus adaptors.
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