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Dell and pals mash parts together, squeeze out first 16Gb FC stack

Speedy shifter offers cheesy-pea mix of everyone's bits

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Dell's Compellent unit has worked with Brocade, Emulex and QLogic to offer the first end-to-end 16Gbit/s Fibre Channel storage networking setup, speeding access to SAN data.

This is a good win for Brocade, especially as Dell has its own Force 10 networking competency, but that is for Ethernet, not Fibre Channel (FC). It's also a timely win for QLogic, reinforcing its 16 gig FC credentials. The 16Gbit/s Fibre Channel standard delivers data twice as fast as the current mainstream 8Gbit/s standard and four times faster than the previous 4Gbit/s standard.

Dell's Compellent SC800 array gets a 16Gbit/s Fibre Channel IO module, supported by the latest v6.3 Storage Centre software. It links to a Brocade or QLogic module. Brocade's M6505 16 Gbit/s FC embedded SAN IO module, made available by Dell, connects the SC800 to Dell's M1000e blade enclosures. This module is configurable in 12 or 24 ports and supports 4, 8 or 16 Gbit/s FC speeds.

The QLogic 2600 is a 16Gbit/s FC host bus adapter (HBA) in both mezzanine and sPCIe formats. It will provide 16Gbit/s FC links for Dell 12th Generation PowerEdge rack, tower and blade servers to link to a 16 gig SC800. QLogic says it provides three times the transactions (1.2 Million IOPs) of 8Gbit/s Fibre Channel,

Emulex also has a 16Gbit/s HBA capability, in the form of its LightPulse 1600 series.

Dan McConnell, Dell's director of marketing and product management, said: :16Gbit/s Fibre Channel ... provides the perfect I/O companion for state of the art Intel and AMD-based servers, virtualised data centers and cloud computing environments."

Compellent SC800 16 Gbit/s FC-capable storage arrays will be available worldwide with the release of Storage Center 6.3 software to key customers in early 2013, with general availability in the second 2013 quarter. ®

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