Feeds

Brocade ups the low-end switch ante

$5,000 Fibre Channel switches on the table

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Brocade Communications Systems has officially unveiled its first new SAN hardware since October 2002, in the form of 8-port and 16-port Fibre Channel switches. Their key qualities are likely to be their low prices, which Brocade says will start at just $5,000, heating up the competition between Brocade and its rival McData.

Brocade's new Silkworm 3250 and 3850 low-end switches replace the existing Silkworm 3200 and 3800, although the 3800 will continue to be sold for a while. HP says it will sell the 3250 and 3850 at 21% and 15% less respectively than the outgoing 3200 and 3800 devices. Brocade does not sell any hardware directly, but expects the 3250 to start at less than $5,000 - or around $625 per port for a basic configuration with limited software.

Comparing SAN vendors' prices is very difficult because of the differences between the way software is bundled with switches, let alone vendors' reluctance to discuss pricing in detail. Brocade last year was forced to slash the prices of its low-end gear in response to new hardware from McData, a move it claimed entirely blunted what had been very strong competition from McData.

The boot may be on the other foot now. Nancy Marrone, analyst at the Enterprise Storage Group said that Brocade's low-end gear was already competitive: "Now they're on a par with the feature set, and the competition is going to be about price."

Alongside a general integration of parts, Brocade has cut its manufacturing costs by using a new switching chip, its third generation Bloom II.

Brocade emphasized the fact that the new switches run the same firmware as the 12000 and 3900, as will presumably the rest of the forthcoming hardware. Having the entire Brocade line-up all powered by the same version 4.2 of Brocade's FabricOS firmware will significantly ease customers' workload when applying patches and updates - especially for large customers running hundreds of Brocade boxes. Common firmware also eases qualification work for OEMs, and networks behave more predictably when all devices are running the same firmware.

The 3800 will continue to be sold for a while because of its code base. Customers may also want the 3800 for another reason: unlike the 3850, it features dual fans and power supplies that can be swapped out. The 3850 also has twin fans and power supplies, but they cannot be swapped out, which further cuts costs for Brocade.

Source: ComputerWire/Datamonitor

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
Flash could be CHEAPER than SAS DISK? Come off it, NetApp
Stats analysis reckons we'll hit that point in just three years
Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7
New chip scales to 1024 cores, 8192 threads 64 TB RAM, at speeds over 3.6GHz
Object storage bods Exablox: RAID is dead, baby. RAID is dead
Bring your own disks to its object appliances
Nimble's latest mutants GORGE themselves on unlucky forerunners
Crossing Sandy Bridges without stopping for breath
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.