Gadzoox Opens More Ports
Gadzoox Networks Inc.
- By Scott Bekker
is getting set to challenge Brocade
Communications Systems Inc’s
dominance of the SAN market, with a new,
higher end switch. The Slingshot 4218 features 18 ports and supports both 2Gbps
and 1Gbps Fibre Channel connectivity.
Gadzoox has played primarily in the workgroup end of
the SAN market. Its Capellix switch was designed to meet the needs of smaller
SAN implementations. The Slingshot line is designed for departmental SANs and
their greater performance demands. This market segment has been dominated by
The Slingshot switch introduces two innovations to the
Gadzoox line. First, it offers more ports than its Capellix models, eighteen,
rather than eight. Second, it supports 2Gbps Fibre Channel connectivity, a
standard that was finalized late last year.
Gadzoox says that its eighteen-port switch offers
advantages over competing 16 port switches. The two extra ports offer extended
backplane connectivity, enabling users to create more efficient fabrics, in
some cases allowing the same degree of redundancy, with one less switch.
In additon, Gadzoox has integrated a number of
different standards for Fibre Channel switches. It supports Brocade’s
protocols, which have made the transition from proprietary protocol to ratified
industry standard. Slingshot also supports Gadzoox’s proprietary switching
Slingshot’s introduction comes at a time when Gadzoox’s
struggles to find its place in both the storage and financial markets. While
some SAN vendors such as Brocade and EMC have prospered in a tough tech market,
Gadzoox has seen flat revenue growth and a declining stock price. –Christopher McConnell
Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.