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November 10, 1997updated 01 Sep 2016 3:38pm

DEC TURNS TO FIBRE CHANNEL BUT HANGS ON TO ULTRASCSI

By CBR Staff Writer

Following Compaq Computer Corp’s announcement of its fibre channel storage (CI No 3,286), Digital Equipment Corp is to add what it claims is the industry’s fastest fibre channel communication system to its StorageWorks family of storage products. DEC is describing the new fibre channel technology as an evolutionary step in the development of the StorageWorks product line, going one step further than the UltraSCSI communication performance. The technology will be used to communicate between Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Disks RAID and the processor on the user’s system. DEC has had the technology on the burner for quite some time, but has been waiting for a suitable operating system to come along. Initially the fibre channel technology will operate on Windows NT, shipping in the first quarter of next year, before being made available for Unix systems at the end of the first quarter and for DEC’s own VMS system in the second quarter. The company has chosen to run the system on NT first because it is a fast evolving operating system. The most important benefit that customers will see from implementing fibre channel is speed enhancements, which will be most obvious when used to transport video and imaging data, where speeds are expected to double. DEC has identified its plans in this area for the next three years, and fibre channel plays a significant role. But it will not be getting rid of its UltraSCSI arrays, because research has shown that fibre channel technology will only account for 20% of this space by 2000. Fibre channel will be available as an upgrade for existing users and as a new product.

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