This month, host bus adapters (HBAs) are finally catching up to the blazing performance provided by modern server processors and solid-state drives (SSDs), according to Emulex, a maker of enterprise networking equipment.
The company's second generation of its LightPulse 16Gb Fibre Channel (16GFC) line of HBAs, dubbed LPe16000B (single- and dual-port), features PCIe 3.0 compatibility and can deliver 1.2 million IOPS on a single port.
Why now? Today's workloads demand it, says Shaun Walsh, senior vice president of marketing and corporate development for Emulex. "Part of what we're trying to do is not just put out another card," he says, "but put out another card that's important to data centers now."
Increasingly, data centers are home to virtualized environments, private and hybrid clouds and massive databases. Faster interconnects play a huge role in efficiently moving these big workloads around. However, the advent of SSD-acceleration has added another wrinkle in the constant tug of war between server and SAN performance.
So, the company has teamed with a leader in enterprise flash storage during Oracle OpenWorld last week to showcase how flash and HBAs can work in concert to help organizations collapse SAN-to-server bottlenecks.
Emulex partnered with PCIe flash cache card maker provider Fusion-io on a joint solution for OEMs. The companies paired Emulex's LightPulse LPe16000B with Fusion-io's ioDrive2 PCIe board -- along with Fusion-io's ION Data Accelerator software -- for an integrated flash-accelerated caching and SAN connectivity offering.
For its part, the LPe16000B HBA provides PCIe 3.0 support, meaning more PCIe lands and overall I/O bandwidth. This capability makes the adapter a good match for Intel's Xeon E5-2600 server processors, says Emulex.
The company's BlockGuard technology promotes data integrity and protects against data corruption by supporting the T10 Protection Information (T10 PI) standard. Hardware-assisted data integrity checks eliminate the performance drain of software T10 PI operations.
Along with improved performance comes simplified management, says Emulex. By adhering to a single driver model, administrators can manage Emulex 16GFC HBAs via a single Emulex OneCommand Manager console, speeding install and configuration duties.
Emulex's LightPulse LPe16000B HBAs are scheduled to ship this quarter.