Use of Fibre Channel evolving for Intel servers

Use of Fibre Channel evolving for Intel servers

Intel server makers IBM and Siemens Nixdorf, anticipating customer migration to Fibre Channel (FC) storage and networking, have unveiled products that are scheduled to begin shipping in September.

IBM, moving on its promise to bring mainframe qualities to its Netfinity server line, will roll out in September a family of RAID controllers, PCI adapters, and networking hubs, to be christened IBM Netfinity Fibre Channel products.

The line, which IBM is developing with Symbios, will first be available for the Xeon-powered Netfinity 7000 M10, also due in September. Pricing was not available.

Siemens Nixdorf, meanwhile, announced it would make FC available on its Intel servers, the Primergy line, sold by its Siemens Pyramid Division. The company will use Qlogic's QLA2100 FC interface, a PCI card powered by a Qlogic-made RISC processor. The Siemens FC offering will be available in October or November, but pricing was not available.

Perceptions and uses of FC are evolving, said Joe Barkan, a Gartner Group analyst. IT managers value the protocol's support of multiple-device connectivity to server outputs even more than for its promise of 100Mbps throughput, he said. "An advantage is the attaching of multiple servers to the same subsystem; this can be used in storage area networks to reduce costs of managing disks and data," Barkan said.

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