Bothell, Wash. - Vixel Corp.'s 2-Gbit/second embedded storage switches, available in ASIC, switch-on-a-chip, blade and box formats, enable storage suppliers to overcome connectivity bottlenecks in the back end of RAID, network-attached storage, tape and next-generation superscalar storage architectures.
With its InSpeed Embedded Storage Switch product line, Vixel claims to be first to market with fully integrated embedded storage switch-on-chip. The company says the ASIC, blade and box formats offer greater flexibility, faster time-to-market and improved efficiencies in the design and control of storage systems.
By providing a lower-cost alternative to implementation of additional RAID controllers, the storage switches reportedly reduce overall cost to the end user between 15 and 20 percent. Because the technology is a drop-in solution that does not require rewriting of code, Vixel estimates that the switches enable time-to-market advantages of three to six months.
The switches are said to improve manageability and performance in two types of back-end topologies. In intrashelf configurations, they can be used to switch from JBOD (just a bunch of disks) to SBOD (switched bunch of disks) implementations using InSpeed ASICs or blades. In intershelf switching, the InSpeed switches let users connect RAID controllers to drive drawers in back-end switch implementations using InSpeed Embedded Storage Switches in a
box, blade or ASIC format. InSpeed switches reduce "multihops," since read/write requests no longer have to move through each disk drawer before finding the correct drive.
The line is based on the 12-port, 2-Gbit/s InSpeed ASIC, which integrates a crossbar switch core and embedded serializer/deserializer.
The eight- to 12-port InSpeed Embedded Storage Switch blades are custom-designed and available in managed and unmanaged configurations. The 12-port, 2-Gbit/s Models 310 and 330 are the most cost-effective, the company said, and are aimed at connecting Fibre Channel disk drawers and tape drives. The Model 330 offers additional management capabilities, providing dual-front-end and embedded connectivity functionality in a single box.
Prices for ASIC models start at $20 per port. Prices for blade models are $100 to $150 per port.
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