Emulex has extended its SBOD availability through arrangements with Quantum and BlueArc.

It has announced two new InSpeed Embedded Storage Switch products, the models 350 and 370, which are based on its InSpeed Switch-on-a-Chip (SOC) 320 embedded storage switching technology. It is these new products that BlueArc and Quantum have agreed to use in products.

Both products extend the 320's Fibre Channel (FC) capabilities. They are box-based, drop-in solutions, intended for "Root Switch" and "Fully Switched Architecture" implementations.

Root Switch implementations place switched connectivity between the storage controller (or NAS head) and the drive shelves within a storage array. Emulex says they can also be similarly deployed into tape libraries.

Fully Switched Architectures, implemented as a Root Switch in conjunction with Emulex InSpeed SOC technology in a Switched Bunch of Disks (SBOD), maximise RAS and performance.

Geoff Barrall, CTO for BlueArc, says, "We have now implemented the new InSpeed Model 350 to bring additional levels of functionality to the solutions we offer our customers." That means BlueArc's storage boxes deliver more performance which has been a focus of BlueArc's efforts.

Quantum's DX100 uses the Inspeed Model 370, according to Dave Kenyon, director of enterprise product marketing for Quantum; "(Its) seamless integration allows Quantum customers to scale the DX100 system up to 64TB, to meet their ever-increasing backup and restore needs."

Product features
The InSpeed Model 350 is a fully managed 1U, half-rack form factor 12-port non-blocking switch. The InSpeed Model 370 is also a fully managed 1U, full-rack form factor 20-port non-blocking switch with redundant power supplies and fans for maximum availability. Emulex claims that the 370 'is particularly well suited for creating switched back-end infrastructures in tape libraries.'

Marketing-speak excellence
In a glorious example of marketing-speak Emulex' marketeers have come up with the term SBOT, meaning a switched bunch of tapes. Fearing we had somehow missed the logically preceding JBOT concept we 'googled' the term and came up with the 'JBot Java Web Robot'. That was a relief; we weren't such dummies as we'd feared. Emulex has conveniently not referred to the term and its marketeers have jumped straight to the SBOT concept.

A conversation with a not very well-connected source revealed that SWOT is coming as well and that Quantum, ADIC, StorageTek and every other tape supplier will be joyfully embracing the switched world of tapes.

We are left aghast in admiration and look forward to Emulex extending its idea and introducing the ROBOT concept in the near future. It would stand for a 'redundantly organanised bunch of devices' and be capable of referring to anything at all, clearly a great advantage for marketeers who hate to be pinned down. Emulex could then announce OEM agreements with anybody gullible enough to accept the idea of ROBOTs. Eat your heart out Adaptec.