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Emulex Runs to Sun

Emulex beats QLogic in becoming first HBA vendor to support Solaris x86. Big deal?

Emulex Corp. (NYSE: ELX) got the jump on its competition today when Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) said Emulex will become the first host bus adapter (HBA) supplier to provide Fibre Channel connectivity for Solaris x86 systems.

The expansion of the Sun/Emulex partnership will allow Solaris x86 customers to use Emulex's LightPulse 2-Gbit/s family of PCI and PCI-X HBAs. Sun had previously certified Emulex's HBAs and drivers for Solaris Sparc systems.

The deal should help Emulex in its battle with QLogic Corp. (Nasdaq: QLGC) for Fibre Channel HBA market supremacy (see Emulex, QLogic Catch PCI Express and Can JNI Bust HBA 'Duopoly'?).

"The first-mover advantage is always good, and it's great to be in front of the curve," says Mike Smith, executive VP of worldwide marketing for Emulex. "We've done quite well in the Sparc platform, and the x86 environment represents a growth opportunity for both of us."

Smith says Sun chose Emulex partly because any of its drivers can work with any of its HBAs, and that makes it easier for users to set up, install, and manage SANs.

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