McDATA Backs 4-Gig Fibre Channel

In another coup for 4 Gigabit per second Fibre Channel, storage switch maker McDATA has announced plans to support the emerging standard.

“As a major proponent of industry standards, McDATA…intends to support 4 Gb/s Fibre Channel fabrics in 2005, as it matures,” Mike Gustafson, McDATA’s SVP of worldwide marketing, said in a statement.

4-Gig FC has gained momentum as a bridge between the 10 Gb/s future and current 1-2 Gb/s systems. 4-Gig (4G) also has the added advantage of backwards compatibility with 1G and 2G, which 10G won’t offer, and will cost about the same as 1-2 Gb/s. With its ability to extend current investments while offering faster performance, 4G has caught on quickly, even as some worry that it will delay the transition to 10G FC.

McDATA made the announcement at this week’s Storage Networking World in Orlando.

McDATA also plans a 10G data traffic demonstration at SNW with Emulex (a 4-Gig holdout, no less). The two will demonstrate the 10 Gb/s data traffic capability of McDATA’s Intrepid Directors and Emulex 10 Gb/s host bus adapter (HBA) technology.

McDATA will deliver 10 Gb/s functionality for its Intrepid Directors in mid-2004, the company says. 10G is expected at first to be limited to applications like interswitch links.

McDATA says it will also demonstrate “the industry’s first end-to-end storage network security solution,” based on the mandated requirements of the Fibre Channel Security Protocol (FC-SP) and interoperable with multiple partners. The company says its SANtegrity Suite is “the only storage network security solution that encompasses the complete storage infrastructure — from server ports across the entire fabric to the storage ports. Partners in the demo include Decru, Emulex, Microsoft, and Qlogic.

The company also plans to demonstrate business continuance applications running on its intelligent switch platform. McDATA will demonstrate StoreAge’s multiView, multiCopy, and multiMirror applications running on Sphereon intelligent fabric switches, for a “common, robust storage management software suite for all of the various storage devices within their storage area network.”

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