Plans are afoot by vendors to release fibre channel switches and routers that are twice as fast as existing models, according to reports from the US. The 2GBps fibre channel devices are designed to add speed to storage area networks (SAN) struggling to handle streaming video, prepress production and other heavy-duty applications.
Market leaders such as Brocade and Gadzoox Networks will be among the companies rolling out these boxes, which will aggregate traffic from 1Gbps fibre channel switches and routers, as well as connect directly to servers, tape drives and storage arrays. Fibre channel host bus adapters for connecting servers into SANs are already available with 2GBps support.
The new boxes will be backward-compatible with 1Gbps fibre channel offerings, an issue which analysts say may have delayed products from getting to market sooner. Some vendors promised 2Gbps switches and routers by the end of last year, says Arun Taneja, an analyst with Enterprise Storage Group.