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FCIA Endorses New Class of Hybrid Fibre Channel Disk Drives

New Class of Capacity-Oriented Hybrid Fibre Channel Disk
Drive Changing the Economics of SANs

SAN FRANCISCO, July 26, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) — The Fibre Channel
Industry Association (FCIA) today announced that it is endorsing a
new class of hybrid disk drives conceived by HP, Hitachi Global
Storage Technologies and Seagate Technology. These hybrid drives
combine a Fibre Channel interface with a low-cost-per-gigabyte,
high-capacity disk drive mechanism to enable a new class of storage
devices costing significantly less per gigabyte than mission-critical
Fibre Channel drives.

Built specifically for Fibre Channel systems, these hybrid drives,
when combined with high-performance Fibre Channel drives inside the
same enclosure, allow customers the flexibility to segment data
between lower cost-per-gigabyte, high-capacity drives and
high-performance drives within a single storage system. Examples of
applications range from reference data (e.g. archived e-mail) to
mission-critical data (e.g. financial transactions). By combining
higher capacity, lower cost disk drive mechanisms with a Fibre
Channel interface, this industry-first disk drive addresses the
growing need for businesses to cost-effectively store less critical
or infrequently accessed information in a more economical fashion.

“The FCIA applauds HP, Hitachi and Seagate for applying field-proven,
reliable FC interface technology to disk drives that are used for
bulk storage applications. This new class of disk drives will lower
cost while maintaining all the advantages of FC interface technology.
HP is demonstrating thought leadership by quickly addressing an
emerging market need,” said Werner Glinka, Chairman of the Fibre
Channel Industry Association Marketing Working Group.

In April, HP announced it would be the first systems vendor to offer
a 250-gigabyte low cost Fibre Channel drive, which the company called
a Fibre Attached Technology Adapted disk drive. HP will offer the
drives within its HP StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA)
family of disk storage arrays. HP expects to begin shipping products
in July 2004. Other OEMs are expected to provide low
cost-per-gigabyte Fibre Channel hybrid drive solutions later this
year, early 2005.

“Standards-based innovations from HP help customers keep pace with
the dynamic nature of their business,” said Bob Schultz, senior vice
president and general manager, Network Storage Solutions, HP. “The
ability to mix and match high-performance Fibre Channel drives with
our low-cost hybrid drives in the same disk array – without the need
to purchase additional hardware or software – provides an opportunity
to simplify technology management and preserve technology
investments. This innovation helps maximize customer choice while
improving their ability to adapt to change.”

“As a leading supplier of Fibre Channel hard drives, our customers
are evaluating methods of integrating near-line storage applications
into their traditionally high-performance, high-availability
systems,” said Fumio Kugiya, general manager, Hitachi Global Storage
Technologies. “Customers that have made significant Fibre Channel
investments over the years may be interested in the new hybrid drives
as a cost-effective way to extend the life of their systems. We are
pleased to be working with HP to provide customers with the
flexibility they need to match the right drive with the right

“As the pioneer and leader in Fibre Channel technology, Seagate is
once again showing its commitment to the Fibre Channel interface as
well as serving the needs of storage users by providing
high-capacity, low $/GB enterprise hard drives such as Seagate’s new
NL35 Series,” said Jeff Loebbaka, vice president of global marketing,
Seagate Technology. “System builders can now create new
cost-effective nearline enterprise storage systems that can be used
with existing FC SANs with no extra hardware or changes to storage
management software.”

“Emulex believes the advancement of low-cost, high-capacity Fibre
Channel drives is good news for both the storage industry and storage
end-users,” said Mike Smith, executive vice president of worldwide
marketing, Emulex Corporation. “The availability of Fibre Attached
Technology Adapted drives helps providers deliver solutions that
match drive types to their intended application. This supports a
number of initiatives we see in the market, including information
lifecycle management, tiered-storage, and the use of Fibre Channel
SANs in small-to-medium businesses.”

“This announcement gives the Fibre Channel user attractive new
options, and ensures that Fibre Channel will be a key SAN protocol
even as other protocols exert downward pricing pressures,” Dr Brian
Staff, Vice President of Marketing, Finisar Network Tools.

“The FCIA’s endorsement of the extension of Fibre Channel into a new
class of low-cost storage devices illustrates the organization’s
continued commitment to and support of innovative technologies
developed by its member companies to further the industry as a whole.
This technology is the ideal solution for Fibre Channel users,” said
Steve Bucher, CEO, I-TECH Corp.

“PMC-Sierra’s installed base of Fibre Channel PBC Port ByPass
Controllers and CTS Loop Switches work seamlessly with all Fibre
Channel HDDs, providing system level hardware compatibility between
these two critical system components,” said Mark Stibitz, vice
president and general manager of PMC-Sierra’s Enterprise Storage
Division. “PMC-Sierra supports the Fibre Attached Technology Adapted
disk drive concept and is committed to providing storage equipment
vendors with proven, low-cost tiered storage solutions.”

“OEM, channel and end-user customers of QLogic are moving quickly to
adopt an emerging class of simple, low-cost Fibre Channel switch and
HBA products,” said Frank Berry, vice president of marketing, QLogic
Corporation. “By leveraging low-cost SATA technology, Fibre Attached
Technology Adapted drives are sure to become an integral part of
simple, low cost SANs of the future.”

“We believe these drives greatly enhance the competitiveness of Fibre
Channel technology,” said Steve Looby, product manager, SAN adapters,
LSI Logic. “The new offering of Fibre Attached Technology Adapted
drives gives users a new option to deploy inexpensive, high density
drives for certain data center applications like near line storage.
The ability to seamlessly retrofit existing product lines provides
Fibre Channel vendors with the ability to quickly meet the demands of
new markets and provides users with flexibility and investment

About FCIA

The Fibre Channel Industry Association (FCIA) is a nonprofit
international organization of manufacturers, systems integrators,
developers, systems vendors, industry professionals and end users.
With more than 80 member companies and FCIA affiliates in the United
States and Japan, FCIA is committed to delivering a broad base of
Fibre Channel infrastructure to support a wide array of industry
applications within the mass storage and IT-based arenas. FCIA
working groups focus on specific aspects of the technology, targeting
both vertical and horizontal markets including storage, video,
networking and SAN management. For more information on FCIA, please
visit our web site:, contact us: or call 1-415-561-6270.

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