Emulex Readies Single-Chip CNAs for Converged Networks

Emulex (NYSE: ELX) is shipping its single-chip converged network adapters (CNAs), but Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) won’t be an option until later this year.

QLogic (NASDAQ: QLGC) has had a multi-month head start over its CNA rival, including design wins with IBM (NYSE: IBM) x and p series and BladeCenter servers and endorsements from EMC (NYSE: EMC) and NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP), but Shaun Walsh, vice president of corporate marketing at Emulex, said a few months head start doesn’t mean much in a market that won’t fully materialize until 2011.

“We don’t consider ourselves late to the market at all,” said Walsh.

He expects users to begin pilots next year and then “start to seriously roll this out” in 2011.

A lack of a single-ASIC CNA doesn’t appear to have hurt Emulex too badly, as the company last week reported 160 percent sequential quarterly growth in CNA sales. A single ASIC is always a development goal, said Walsh, but the value of converged networks lies in cable and infrastructure savings. “It’s not hindering our sales,” he said.

Today, Emulex announced its own IBM p series wins, for 10GbE NICs and 16Gbps Fibre Channel HBAs, following up on an August IBM BladeCenter win.

Emulex’s single-chip OneConnect CNAs come in three flavors, with optical or copper cable options: 10GbE NIC; 10GbE NIC and iSCSI; and 10GbE NIC and FCoE. Pricing ranges from $1100 to $2800, and the FCoE option will be available later this quarter.

The CNAs support full TCP/IP hardware offload, including TCP Chimney, and hardware offloads can be added for iSCSI or FCoE when end users are ready for those technologies. Part of the Emulex vEngine technology, hardware offload and acceleration reduces server overhead and increases the number of virtual machines that can run on virtualized servers, the company says.

Emulex is also offering a new converged management application, OneCommand Manager, to place its HBAnyware management application and manage Emulex OneConnect UCNAs and LightPulse HBAs.

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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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