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Sanera Systems has been touting its switch of enormous proportions for a long time now, but come next week beta product will be on hand.

The DS10000 is a 14U high storage switch that has been designed to sit at the heart of large scale storage networks. A whopping 256 nonblocking Fibre Channel ports have been packed into the system. Customers can pick up to 64 of the ports to be of the 10Gps variety.

The company has some ex-Itanium engineers on staff which could explain Sanera's need to have so many ports. Itanium folks like to build things big, and this urge lives on at Sanera.

Only the SAN elite would want a switch of this class. This product is for customers that have spent millions on their SAN infrastructure and want to consolidate some of their switching hardware.

The DS10000 supports a form of hard partitioning that lets the user split it up into separate regions. This makes it possible for different user groups to manage their own SAN while sharing one, central box.

The partitioning technology its similar to what Sun Microsystems offers on its high end servers. Sure enough, a number of Sanera employees used to work at Sun.

The DS10000 can currently be split up into 8 port chunks. The size of a partition can be altered while the system is still running.

Patrick Harr, vice president of marketing and business development at Sanera, was reluctant to say how much the product will cost but was confident the company will generate revenue this year.

"We are in a formal beta right now with a target to deliver to OEMs at the end of the Summer." Harr said. "Early Fall."

Sanera has talked up its product for more than two years now and faces significant competition as it finally prepares to deliver the system.

Brocade, Cisco, McData and Maxxan are just a few of the competitors Sanera will go up against.®

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