Emulex (NYSE: ELX) might have been late to market with single-chip converged network adapters (CNAs), but the company is making up for lost time.
Emulex announced today that its OneConnect Universal CNAs for 10Gb iSCSI and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) are now qualified by EMC for use in servers connected to storage area networks (SANs) across the EMC Connectrix, Clariion, Celerra and Symmetrix data storage systems. The CNAs are available through the EMC Select program.
Emulex lagged rival QLogic (NASDAQ: QLGC) by six months in obtaining EMC CNA qualification, but Shaun Walsh, vice president of corporate marketing at Emulex, said the Emulex qualification marks "the first iSCSI support on a CNA by a major OEM."
The converged data and storage networks promised by FCoE are at least a year away -- Walsh said he sees the "crossover" happening in 2012 -- but 10Gb Ethernet appears to be a must-have for data centers now.
"It's pretty much a given that everyone's going to 10Gb Ethernet," said Walsh.
Storage networking customers view FCoE as an "interesting concept and good idea," said Walsh, but he said the transition will take a few years, and the industry needs low-cost top-of-rack FCoE switches too.
iSCSI has been the fastest-growing data storage protocol, driven by VMware VMotion, said Walsh, while virtualization, blade servers, faster chips and enhanced Ethernet are combining to change how enterprises view I/O.
"There's a confluence of technologies that are feeding off each other," said Walsh.
Emulex says its vEngine technology, hardware offload and acceleration features reduce server overhead and increase the number of virtual machines that can run on virtualized servers.
Bob Laliberte of Enterprise Strategy Group said a recent ESG survey found that 52 percent of end users either already use or plan to use iSCSI in their data centers. "The combination of 10Gbps Ethernet and iSCSI provide a new class of cost-effective storage for the enterprise data center," Laliberte stated.
At next week's Storage Networking World (SNW) conference in Orlando, Emulex plans to demonstrate its OneConnect 10Gb iSCSI adapters connected to an EMC Clariion array, running OneCommand Manager, boot-from-SAN and Microsoft iSCSI applets.
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