QLogic Does The SAN Limbo

QLogic is making a bold play to attract small and medium-sized businesses
(SMBs) to Fibre Channel SANs with a new line of low-cost software, HBAs and switches.

The new SAN Express line is designed for QLogic channel partners to migrate SMBs from direct attached storage (DAS) to SANs. The product line features SANbox Express 1400 switches, SANblade Express 200 HBAs, SANsurfer Express software, and SAN Express Starter Kits.

A SAN Express Starter Kit with one switch, two HBAs, software and accessories lists for $3,295 and can be installed by a technical generalist in minutes.

“The company is innovating again by putting their technologies into simplistic packages for small to medium businesses,” said Steve Duplessie, founder and senior analyst at the Enterprise Strategy Group. “While storage people often overlook this market, it can’t be ignored any longer. All the significant growth in almost any metric you care to measure will come from the SMB space.”

QLogic estimates the potential market for SMB SANs at more than 600,000 companies in the U.S., with almost three million servers. “With products like SAN
Express, these companies will be able to migrate their storage from DAS to SAN in the years ahead,” the company said.

SANsurfer Express is Windows-based software that can automatically discover and install a complete SAN in minutes, QLogic says.

The SANbox Express 1000 Series Fibre Channel Switches are “the most integrated and compact Fibre Channel switch ever built,” the company says. The new SANbox Express model 1400 switch features 10 high-performance 2Gb ports in a package the size of a home router.

SANblade Express 200 Series Fibre Channel HBAs connect servers to small workgroup SANs.

What all this means for SMBs in real-world terms is data transfer that’s about twice as fast as anything you’re using now, plus increased availability, reliability and better management capability.

QLogic channel partners are already accepting orders for SAN Express products, and the company is also conducting a pilot program with “a select group of Express Channel Partners” that is expected to run through the end of the year. For more on the SAN Express line, visit www.qlogic.com/products/san_express.asp.

As part of the announcement, the company has divided its product line into the SAN Express line for SMBs, and the SAN Pro line for enterprise-class products.

Adapted from enterprisestorageforum.com.

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