HP, JNI Extend Fibre Channel Agreement

JNI, a provider of Fibre Channel host bus adapters (HBAs), has inked a three-year, global value-added reseller agreement with HP. Under terms of the deal, HP will use the entire line of JNI's FibreStar HBAs in HP servers and storage subsystems. The NI line includes the FibreStar PCI and SBus HBAs, which embrace the UNIX and PC Server DriverSuite operating system drivers and EZ Fibre configuration and management utility software.

JNI, unlike other major HBA manufacturers, offers full-fabric support on multiple operating systems for both PCI and SBus-based servers. The JNI PCI HBAs support all Fibre Channel topologies under HP-UX, Windows 2000/NT, Sun Solaris, Novell NetWare, Red Hat Linux, IBM AIX and Apple Mac OS. JNI's SBus HBAs are designed for Solaris-based systems and support all Fibre Channel topologies including fabric.

"Worldwide, HP installations requiring Fibre Channel run the gamut of operating systems and protocols," Paul Balnys, Worldwide Marketing Manager of HP Complementary Products, said in a statement. "This agreement helps HP meet the myriad requirements for deploying storage area networks (SANs) at the enterprise level around the globe."

The new agreement builds on a long-standing relationship between JNI and HP. JNI became a member of HP's Open SAN Initiative last February, qualifying its HBAs for the HP Equation architecture products, including the HP SureStore E SAN Manager software. NI also participates in the HP OpenSAN Software Program, HP SAN Interoperability program, and HP SAN Integration Centers. The HBA vendor also has made several deals with OEMs that supply products for HP servers and storage, including Hitachi Data Systems and StorageTek.

JNI's star is on the rise. It's the fastest-growing Fibre Channel HBA company, ranking second in revenue among manufacturers of Fibre Channel HBAs, according to IDC. The company has entered agreements with the six largest suppliers of external disk storage systems: EMC, Compaq, IBM, Sun, HP and Hitachi. That means JNI is ringing up significant revenue. According to IDC, those six companies accounted for about 74 percent of U.S. external disk storage systems revenue in 1999.