JNI Issues Host Bus Adapters for Windows Users

JNI , which makes equipment that connects heterogeneous systems to be part of the same storage area network (SAN) ,
Monday said it has completed a new line of speedy host bus adapters that run
at 2GB and are easier to install and configure.


Host bus adapters provide input/output (I/O) processing and physically
connect servers and storage devices. Software in the HBAs manage the
adapters, which are attached to each server. They provide storage management
capabilities such as load balancing, fail-over and SAN administration.


Aimed at small and medium businesses (SMBs), San Diego-based JNI’s new ZStar
series of HBAs are interoperable with Windows servers and storage devices.
They are designed to lower the cost and difficulty associated with stitching
resources together in Fibre Channel SANs.


JNI, acquired August 28 by Applied Micro Circuits for $190 million in cash,
sits behind such vendors as Emulex , QLogic and HP in the HBA market, according to
Gartner, but hopes to spruce up its portfolio with the new products tailored
for Windows operating environments.


JNI argues that its ZStar series opens up the storage consolidation and
management benefits of SANs to areas that have been priced out of the Fibre
Channel SAN market in the past.


JNI’s ZStar HBAs includes two models: the Z210, a single port 2Gb HBA for
the PCI-X bus and the dual port Z220, also with PCI-X connectivity. Both
HBAs are backward compatible to 32-bit PCI and 1Gb environments.


The new HBAs include the company’s EZ Fibre software to automatically
configure SAN topology, link speed, as well as LUN discovery and mapping.
The EZ Fibre software has also been updated for Windows, making it easier
for SAN administrator to change configuration specifications for Microsoft
software.


The ZStar HBAs also boast a performance tuning perk in EZ Fibre that lets
the user tune I/O performance by selecting
from a list of server application environments, including streaming (larger
blocks with sustained I/O), transactional (smaller blocks with variable I/O)
or minimize CPU utilization (to conserve CPU for other tasks).


The new ZStar HBAs are compatible with Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced
Server, Windows 2003 32-bit and 64-bit Server and Enterprise Server OS
platforms. JNI supports Fibre Channel SAN hardware and software, including
servers and storage from Dell, HP, Hitachi Data Systems and IBM; switches
and hubs from rivals Brocade, McDATA, Gadzoox and Q Logic; and storage
applications from IBM HDS, Legato, Veritas, CA and Microsoft.


The JNI ZStar Fibre Channel HBAs will be available through JNI’s resellers
later this month priced at under $800 per port.

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