Brocade's new director
Brocade's new SilkWorm 24000 Director supports up to 128, non-blocking 2Gbit/s full duplex ports in a single domain. It uses the common fabric operating system used by Brocade's family of switches and directors and provides support for both Fibre Channel (FC) and FICON protocols. Expansion blades will enable it to support fabric applications and IP protocols such as FCIP and iSCSI.

Support for faster FC speeds, including 4 Gbit/s and 10 Gbit/s, will also be available through the non-disruptive addition of new port cards. Brocade wants customers to avoid "rip-and-replace" upgrades as different protocols, faster speeds and more functionality become available.

The SilkWorm 24000 complements Brocade's existing SilkWorm 12000 Director, with its dual 64-port domain architecture. There are seamless upgrade paths for existing SilkWorm 12000 customers to migrate to the 24000. EMC, HP, IBM and Sun have already signed up.

Western Digital's 74 GB SATA drive
The Raptor 74 GB is a 10,000rpm Serial ATA drive with a 4.5ms average seek time. With 1.2 million hours mean time to failure, additional vibration compensation, 8MB cache and a 5-year warranty WD is positioning it as an enterprise-class drive. The company says the drive provides SCSI 10K-equivalent performance for up to 30 percent lower cost. It uses tagged command queuing in which the head is sent to the nearest disk location in a queue of requests regardless of the order of the requests. This boosts its performance. The drive is said to be suitable for mainstream storage and business workstation applications.

Maxtor's 300GB SCSI drive
Maxtor has announced two new UltraSCSI 320 Atlas drives. The Atlas 10K V drive comes in 73GB, 147GB and 300GB sizes and runs at 10,000rpm. It has a maximum sustained transfer rate of 89Mbit/s and average seek times as fast as 4.0ms - a 24 percent sequential performance improvement and seven percent average seek time improvement over the previous generation of Atlas 10K drives.

The Atlas 15K II drive comes in 36GB, 73GB and 147GB sizes and runs at 15,000rpm. It has a sustained transfer rate of 98Mbit/s and average seek times as fast as 3.0ms, a 31 percent sequential performance improvement and, again, seven percent seek time improvement over the previous generation Atlas 15K drives. Both the Atlas 10K V drive and Atlas 15K II drive include an 8MB cache buffer.

Both drives are being qualified by Maxtor's OEMs with full availability scheduled for later this year. The 300GB drive matches the Hitachi and Fujitsu 300GB drives but not Hitachi's 400GB unit (in capacity terms).

LSI Logic Storage Systems has become Engenio Information Technologies. The renaming forms part of its IPO, expected to be completed by the end of the summer. President and CEO Thomas Georgens said: "Engenio reflects appropriately upon our heritage of innovation in information storage technology while offering a strong new identity to serve us well in the future." StorageTek and SGI sell the company's disk arrays - something that is expected to continue through the name change.

Fujitsu's imageRaid
Fujitsu Europe's ImageRaid is a 2U rack-mounted unit offering RAID facilities and Fibre Channel (2Gbit/s) connections between disks and servers. Four FC host connections and support for RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 and 50 will let customers build their own SANs.

ImageRaid is available with both single and dual controllers and can scale up to 14TB (96 x147GB drives) through the use of JBOD expansion units. It offers active/active controllers with host transparent failover and failback operation to help keep data in case of failure. An entry-level SAN will cost £22,000.

PSINet managed storage service
PSINet now offers NetApp storage products in its London data centre. Customers will have, according to PSINet, secure, flexible storage on demand, with services including data point-in-time copies, remote archiving and data restoration in the event of any failure. The company says restores take place in minutes, rather than hours or days.

Customers can use primary or less expensive secondary storage. UK managing director Nicholas Jeffery said: "PSINet Managed Storage allows users to view networked storage drives as local volumes or as networked file servers. Access and availability is quick and the offsite location of data means that, even if original equipment is destroyed, their systems can be up and running quickly and seamlessly." Major server operating systems are supported.