There was much to see from HP at Tech Forum in Las Vegas, but we wanted to highlight some of the smaller companies exhibiting there. Two in particular caught our attention: Silentium, with their noise-reducing server racks, and QLogic’s entry-level Fibre Channel switches.
Israel-based Silentium brought along a server rack for small offices that was music to our ears. It incorporates a sound (if you pardon the pun) bottom-to-top and front-to-back airflow system, conventional sound-deadening baffles, and active noise cancellation to create a quiet sealed server rack. While this might not appeal to everyone, those of use who have to sit next to rack-mount servers, network gear, and storage will certainly appreciate it.
The active noise cancellation was very effective. It uses a microphone, CPU board, and speaker to inject out-of-phase sound waves to cancel out the sound of fans, servers, and anything else you might put in the rack. As you can hear in the video below, the effect was audible even on a noisy trade show floor.
As we experiment with various SAN configurations, it becomes obvious that the industry needs a supplier of solid, inexpensive Fibre Channel switches that can grow as needs changed. That’s why the 12-port QLogic-sourced HP SN6000 switch was a nice find.
Clearly based on the QLogic 5600 product, it has a low price of entry but is easily expandable with a license unlocking four more ports, and also includes four dedicated 10 Gb FC ports for stacking multiple switches. It may not be as sexy as a Brocade 8000 or Cisco Nexus 5000, but small and cheap is welcome in the big-money world of Fibre Channel SANs.