Emulex Moves Into Storage Network Management

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Emulex (NYSE: ELX) is moving beyond its core market for storage networking adapters and into storage management software with the release this week of OneCommand Vision, which is designed to make the most of I/O in physical, virtual and cloud data center environments.

“This is a first step into a new world,” Shaun Walsh, Emulex’s vice president of corporate marketing, told Enterprise Storage Forum.

Walsh added that OneCommand Vision will be the first of many such offerings from the HBAsand CNA vendor. “It is absolutely essential for being in converged networking,” he said, as storage networks and LANs begin to converge.

Encryption, provisioning, quality of service and compression are other possible services for the company, he said.

OneCommand vision starts at $32,500 for 25 physical servers. As Intel Nehalem-based servers can pack in 10 or more virtual machines, the license potentially covers hundreds of virtual machines, Walsh noted.

The software works by determining the nature of network traffic and finding the best place for applications based on their performance needs and profile, said Walsh. It also informs users of changes in the environment that could affect performance.

One unintended consequence of the product is that the I/O profiles can identify abandoned virtual machines and applications, which can then be shut down. Walsh calls that aspect a “VM sprawl detector.”

The software runs on a blade server to create a central database, while “collector” machines control up to 2,000 production servers each. Linux, Windows and VMware environments are supported.

OneCommand Vision monitors I/O data paths, including both physical and virtual I/O layers, operating systems, adapters, networks and array end points, so IT administrators can configure data center resources to solve bandwidth and contention issues. The software collects and analyzes I/O transactions and protocol errors across the data center to provide a centralized view of network size, availability, performance and utilization.

The product is heterogenous and can be integrated into existing system and storage management solutions, Emulex says. It supports Fibre Channel and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) networks, with iSCSI and network attached storage (NAS) support planned for next year.

Emulex also released its quarterly results this week, reporting 30 percent sales growth, but its shares lost about 10 percent after the company’s sales guidance for the current quarter came in about 5 percent less than Wall Street analysts expected.

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Paul Shread
Paul Shread
eSecurity Editor Paul Shread has covered nearly every aspect of enterprise technology in his 20+ years in IT journalism, including an award-winning series on software-defined data centers. He wrote a column on small business technology for Time.com, and covered financial markets for 10 years, from the dot-com boom and bust to the 2007-2009 financial crisis. He holds a market analyst certification.

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