Faster I/Os, improved connectivity
Digital claims that its Ultra SCSI arrays offer faster I/O rates than Fibre Channel arrays (up to 24,000 I/Os per second in the high-end ESA 10000 array). "We would argue that close to 99% of today`s applications, including high-bandwidth applications, will be more than satisfied by Ultra SCSI," contends Blanchard.
Analysts agree, but with a caveat. "If the only issue for evaluation is performance, I`d agree that the vast majority of users will be satisfied with Ultra SCSI, but if you`re only looking at performance, you`re missing the real advantages of Fibre Channel," says Anders Lofgren, an analyst with Giga Information Group, a consulting firm in Cambridge, MA. "Cable distance, device connectivity and networking are bigger driving factors for Fibre Channel than performance alone."
To overcome one of the drawbacks to Ultra SCSI--short cable distances--Digital uses "SCSI Hub" technology that increases the distance between devices to 20 meters. In addition, the controller supports more devices-- up to 72--than most other Ultra SCSI implementations.
Digital`s Enterprise Storage Arrays range from entry-level units to the model 10000, with up to 648 GB per cabinet. Fully configured arrays are priced in some cases as low as $0.35 per MB. For more information, visit www.storage.digital.com.