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The Channel

SAN gang at Nimble jump in Fibre Channel pool, but how big will the splash be?

Full SAN connectivity, and expanded array capacity

An Olympic-sized swimming pool

Becoming a little nimbler in the SAN market, Nimble Storage is adding Fibre Channel support to its CS-series hybrid flash/disk arrays.

Up until now these products have supported block data access over iSCSI only. Adding Fibre Channel will, the company believes, triple its addressable market.

The product range was refreshed in August, with faster Sandy Bridge CPUS, and the company has now expanded the capacity of its arrays, with more expansion shelves, higher-capacity disk, and solid state drives. There can be up to 160TB of flash per cluster and maximum raw capacity scales past 1.6PB.

16Gbit/s, so-called gen 5, Fibre Channel products from Brocade, Emulex and QLogic are supported. Tim Stammers, a senior analyst for 451Research, said in a canned supporting quote that FC support increased “the flexibility and appeal of [Nimble’s] products to large enterprises and service providers - for whom Fibre Channel is the dominant and fastest-growing form of storage networking.”

Qlogic_2600_HBA

QLogic 2600 HBA

It increases the SAN market attack surface open to Nimble and broadens its attack on competing SAN array vendors who have been able to hide behind a Fibre Channel fence. Not any more.

Not FCOE, not iSCSI but good old physical FC. Who would have thought that a year or two ago? Nimble Fibre Channel support is available now. ®

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