Feeds

Brocade ups the low-end switch ante

$5,000 Fibre Channel switches on the table

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Cray-cray Met Office spaffs £97m on VERY AVERAGE HPC box
Only 250th most powerful in the world? Bring back Michael Fish
UK.gov pushes for SWIFT ACTION against nuisance calls, threatens £500k fines
DCMS seeks lowering of legal threshold to fight rogue firms
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
The DRUGSTORES DON'T WORK, CVS makes IT WORSE ... for Apple Pay
Goog Wallet apparently also spurned in NFC lockdown
Microsoft brings the CLOUD that GOES ON FOREVER
Sky's the limit with unrestricted space in the cloud
'ANYTHING BUT STABLE' Netflix suffers BIG Europe-wide outage
Friday night LIVE? Nope. The only thing streaming are tears down my face
Google roolz! Nest buys Revolv, KILLS new sales of home hub
Take my temperature, I'm feeling a little bit dizzy
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
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.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.