SAN JOSE, Calif. – Startup Xsigo Systems, Inc. rolled out Tuesday (Aug. 31) a 10 Gbit/second switch that can handle Ethernet networking and Fibre Channel storage traffic for a fraction of the cost of Fibre Channel over Ethernet adapters sold by companies such as Cisco Systems.
Xsigo's I/O Director is a 32-port external Ethernet switch that costs about $500 per port compared to FCoE adapters that cost $1,500 to $3,000 per port. It supports I/O virtualization working with tools including IBM Tivoli, VMware and Microsoft's HyperV.
The system provides full line rate bandwidth that can by dynamically allocated. The company claims it does not add significant latency because it does not provide routing or other packet-processing functions.
Xsigo (pronounced see-go) faces competition from server and communications giants including Cisco, Hewlett-Packard and IBM who are supporting FCoE. Their support promises to quickly push FCoE adapters up in volumes and down in price.
But Jon Toor, Xsigo’s vice president of marketing, notes that computer makers are already starting to put 10G Ethernet on their server motherboards. That suggests they many not move to FCoE cards for awhile.
The new system uses a 32-port 10 Gbit Ethernet switch from Fulcrum Microsystems as well as Fibre Channel silicon from QLogic. The company already has sold hundreds of similar based on 20 and 40 Gbit/s Infiniband, using chips from Mellanox Technologies.
The Ethernet systems are available in September at costs starting at $35,000. It arrives at a time when analysts say businesses are starting a long anticipated upgrade, moving their networks to 10Gbit/second Ethernet.