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Gadzoox Opens More Ports

Gadzoox Networks Inc. 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 Brocade.

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 protocols.

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

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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