StorageTek muddied the already murky waters of the storage market last week when it laid down its vision for the future of fibre channel.
Divergent camps are already beginning to form within the fledgling industry for fibre channel in storage area networks (SANs).
Alastair Blackburn, director of the networking business group for StorageTek, explained that storage vendors had fallen into two camps: those who believe that the "intelligence" of the SAN should be centred on the server and those who believe it should be centred on the storage.
StorageTek disagrees with both camps. "There should not be too much intelligence at either end - the intelligence should sit in the network," Blackburn said.
Announcing its fibre channel strategy, StorageTek outlined the concept of Open SANs based on an intelligent hub, which is server platform independent.
The intelligent hub model allows users to allocate storage devices between different servers from a central point through a Web-based query interface, the company claimed.
StorageTek launched the StorageNet Access Hub, the technology which forms the basis of Compaq's fibre channel initiative through an OEM agreement with the storage firm. StorageTek also announced that it will be reselling Brocade Communications' 16-port SilkWorm fibre channel switch, which will sit under the Access Hub in the firm's product portfolio.
"With SilkWorm we are providing the functionality of a switch with the aggressive pricing of a hub," claimed Blackburn.
The StorageNet Access Hub is scheduled to ship in September, priced at #24,000 for a 16-port model.
DELL STORAGE STRATEGY
PC vendor Dell has also outlined its new storage strategy. The company has announced the PowerVault line of server-attached storage systems.
Based on Clariion technology licensed from Data General, PowerVault will include a range of SCSI and fibre channel-based tape and disk storage subsystems. The first to be delivered will be the PowerVault 650F, a dual fibre channel-based disk system that can support up to 120 fibre channel disk drives with a total storage capacity of more than 2Tb. A single Windows NT server can access up to three PowerVault 650F systems. Other features include redundant RAID controllers, power supplies, power cords and fans.
The system will also support failover software for Windows NT-based servers.
The systems are scheduled to ship in September. Dell also promised that future storage products will work on non-Windows platforms.
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