10 Gigabit Ethernet Storage Alliance formed

* Nimbus Data Systems leads new initiative

IP storage system vendor Nimbus Data Systems this week led seven other companies to create the 10 Gigabit Ethernet Storage Alliance.

The other companies in the alliance include adapter, switch and storage system makers. They are Arastra, Force10 Networks, Fujitsu, Fulcrum Microsystems, Mellanox Technologies, Neterion and NetXen.

The mission of the new alliance is "to increase awareness and enterprise deployments of 10 Gigabit Ethernet as the superior storage networking infrastructure for server virtualization and enterprise-wide storage consolidation given its proven interoperability, low cost, common management, and high performance."

It seemed like the case for 10 Gigabit Ethernet as a storage networking medium has already been made elsewhere. After all, the alliance itself notes that the Dell'Oro Group has projected the market for equipment in this area to grow to $4 billion by 2010. But it would appear that these companies felt an extra push was needed, perhaps to get the word out faster and accelerate deployments.

Fibre Channel is the reigning king of storage networking, but it has been evident for some time that companies were going to start using Ethernet technology in the same space. Recently you've had leading companies like Cisco (not part of the alliance, incidentally) introducing products that use 10 Gigabit Ethernet for storage networking and touting the advantages of merging server and storage networks into "data center networks."

In its opening salvo, the 10 Gigabit Ethernet Storage Alliance sought to make the comparisons with Fibre Channel quite clear, claiming that the infrastructure cost of 10 Gigabit Ethernet was 30% to 75% less than that of 4Gbps Fibre Channel.

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