At the Storage Networking World in Dallas, Brocade announced that its first 8 Gbit/s blades have already shipped to OEMs for evaluation. General availability should come early next year.
Brocade says the transition from 4 to 8 Gbit/s is especially valuable for data centers with large virtual server environments - allowing for more virtual machines. The company also claims to satisfy performance demands for forthcoming LTO-5 tape drives.
One of the factors that will probably slow an upward migration from 4 Gbit/s is cost. Unlike a transition to 4 Gbit/s, going to 8 Gbit/s requires a change to more expensive cabling. Additionally, there are most likely less users who actually need 8 Gbits/s at this point.
In the meantime, Brocade's main rival in this area, Cisco, is quiet about when 8 Gbit/s cards for its MDS 9500 Series switches will ship.
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Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.