The companies also said their joint effort will focus on storage systems using the Internet SCSI protocol (iSCSI), which enables storage devices to be connected using widely available Ethernet networks. SCSI stands for Small Computer System Interface.
"iSCSI combined with Serial Attached SCSI will simplify storage management by minimizing the number of unique components in the data center," Peter Hayden, executive vice president of business development for EqualLogic, said in a statement.
, or SAS, is a relatively new technology for linking disk drives to computers. It has been seen as competing with the (SATA), another new interface that's based on a lower-end technology. Both SAS and SATA are part of a , which send signals down a smaller number of wires and can cut down on the cabling within devices.
Maxtor and EqualLogic said they will cooperate in product planning and development activities for new EqualLogic SAS-based systems. The relationship will include the exchange of prototype Maxtor SAS disk drives and EqualLogic storage systems for the purpose of compatibility testing.
EqualLogic plans to integrate the SAS interface into its line of PeerStorage arrays.
SAS technology allows for the use of SATA drives in the same device, and EqualLogic intends to build a storage array that enables organizations to use either kind of drive, said John Joseph, the company's vice president of marketing. Joseph said such "dual-mode" products should be available in the third quarter of next year.
Joseph suggested an organization could use SAS drives for tasks that involve a high volume of transactions, while SATA drives could be used for tasks such as storing e-mail or Microsoft Word documents.