While industry news with EMC and F.A.S.T. have been keeping me busy these days, what a week it's been for converged networks. Emulex, who has been making a lot of clams of design wins for their "UCNA," finally delivered one this week: Verari. I haven't previously heard of or followed this company. I think they are a small communications data support company with an eye toward growing a data center professional service organization. I'm not sure how much incremental revenue this can represent to Emulex. Also, from all appearances, this is not an FCoE design win; it's a win for Ethernet and it's for the ServerEngines NIC - again. I still believe that Emulex does not have a single chip FCoE available yet, so they are still focused on selling Ethernet NICs from ServerEngines in the meantime.
QLogic announced a custom designed CNA for Dell Nahalem Blade Servers. This means that Dell, EMC, IBM and NetApp are all using QLogic single chip FCoE technology. The Dell news comes at an interesting and opportune time. The enterprise refresh cycle is being driven by the shift to Nehalem servers, Hyper-V, VMware, Citrix and the latest versions of Windows Servers. FCoE will be widely popular as this shift occurs. I understand that Nahalem EX servers will support up to 12 VMs per processors, a 75 percent increase from Nehalem EP chips. This translates to a lot more demand for higher bandwidth connectivity options, which I believe will be predominantly FCoE.
With nearly all the Tier One OEM providers now supporting native FCoE on their servers and storage systems, it's pretty clear which connectivity protocol they are betting on going forward. They all see the move to network convergence as a big shift and the cost benefits it brings to users.
As for Brocade, they're still somewhat of a quagmire to me. First, it was widely believed they were for sale. Then they were not for sale (maybe because HP purchased 3Com), and now it's believed, again, that there may be interested parties looking hard at all or some parts of the company. Even Hitachi seems to be getting on the interested party list for Brocade.
An interesting week, indeed. Perhaps more will shake out before we reach the holidays and the end of the year.Tom Trainer is founder and president of analyst firm Analytico. Prior to founding Analytico, Trainer was Principal Storage Product Marketing Manager at Red Hat, and Director of Marketing at Gluster prior to its acquisition by Red Hat. Tom has worked as managing senior partner ... View Full Bio