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QLogic (NASDAQ: QLGC) sees Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) products arriving on the data storage market in the next six to nine months and claims it's a year ahead of its competitors in helping develop them.
QLogic today unveiled a single-chip FCoE converged network adapter (CNA) that the company says has been sampling since December. The company already claims server and storage OEM design wins, and said the CNAs will begin showing up in blade servers and storage systems later this year.
The company won't say which OEMs will use its ASICs, but judging by the supporting quotes accompanying the announcement, the roster could be impressive, with EMC (NYSE: EMC), Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO), Dell (NASDAQ: DELL), HP (NYSE: HPQ), IBM (NYSE: IBM), NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP), Sun (NASDAQ: JAVA), VMware (NYSE: VMW) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) all chiming in on the announcement.
QLogic says it's well ahead of HBA and CNA competitors Emulex (NYSE: ELX) and Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) in developing second-generation FCoE ASICs.
"The first war for design wins was won by QLogic," boasted Steve Zivanic, QLogic's senior director of corporate communications.
But Emulex claims it offers essentially the same thing with its universal converged network adapter announced a month ago and claims three OEM design wins of its own.
Asked if QLogic could face competition from switch maker Brocade (NASDAQ: BRCD), a recent entrant into the HBA market and a big proponent of converged data center fabrics, Zivanic said the network adapter market is a tough one to gain share in for a newcomer like Brocade.
Zivanic likened the pending arrival of FCoE server and storage products to EMC's entrance into the enterprise solid state drive (SSD) market 14 months ago. Despite the drives' high cost, they've quickly become one of the hottest data storage technologies and are now offered by most vendors.
"The interest in the convergence technology is going to go significantly higher," he said.
QLogic's 8100 Series of PCI-Express (PCIe) CNAs consume just a third of the power of multi-chip, first-generation solutions, the company says. A full FCoE offload engine speeds up applications while saving CPU resources, boosting server virtualization.
The CNAs are available in standard and mezzanine formats and support Windows Server, Linux, AIX, HP-UX, VMware ESX Server, Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix (NASDAQ: CTXS) XenServer.