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JNI To Ship FibreStar Host Bus Adapter

The FibreStar FCC2-6560 with support for the CompactPCI interface will ship Nov. 12.
JNI Corp. next week will start shipping its FibreStar FCC2-6560 host bus adapter with support for the CompactPCI interface, which is becoming a storage-networking standard.

Host bus adapters are attached to servers like network cards so they can exchange data on a storage area network, and JNI is the leading host bus adapter vendor for Sun Microsystems servers. Hershey Foods Corp. in Hershey, Pa., is a Sun customer that runs a mix of Sun Solaris servers and wants to upgrade them to servers based on Sun Microsystems' UltraSparc III chip architecture, which supports the new CompactPCI interface. And Ed Slagle, a Unix systems administrator at Hershey, will enjoy at least one benefit of the hot swappable feature of the new adapter: more time off on Sunday. Slagle and his staff have always had to shut down the servers to upgrade, repair, or change the adapter. The only time that was possible was between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. Sunday. With the new adapter, Slagle and his staff will no longer have to spend Sunday afternoons making repairs and upgrades.

But the benefits extend beyond boosting workers' morale. "If we have a server failure or we swap in a new HBA [host bus adapter]," says Slagle, "hopefully the users don't even notice it."

International Data Corp. analyst Eric Shepard says that among JNI's competitors, Emulex Corp. is bigger and Qlogic Corp. is comparable in revenue, but he believes that support for the CompactPCI interface will open up the market outside of Sun for JNI. "It's crucial for JNI," says Shepard.

The FibreStar FCC2-6560, which will move data in and out of the server at speeds of 200 Mbps, is priced at $3,495.