On February 26, Emulex announced that its OneConnect Universal Converged Network Adapters are available from HP. This is a massive opportunity, given that HP is the largest OEM consumer of host adapters in the world. It is also significant because time-to-sales will be quick since the new HP-branded products are available for high-volume HP ProLiant rack, tower and blade servers. This also marks a ground floor opportunity for Emulex. These products are the first host adapters available from HP to support Data Center Bridging (DCB) - a technology that underpins converged networks that will dominate the future.
One metric of success for new converged networking equipment like host adapters, is their ability to support more than one of the previously separate Local Area Network (LAN), Storage Area Network (SAN), or low-latency High Performance Computing (HPC) applications. In spite of what the vendors will tell you, most DCB adapters and switches on the market today are really good at only one of three applications - which means data center managers still need to deploy separate networks. Emulex CNAs are being offered by HP for LAN and SAN applications which means that today Emulex is uniquely good at two of three applications. This is a big win for HP customers that want to exploit the cost advantages of converged networking by combining LAN and SAN applications onto one host adapter.
HP's StorageWorks Converged Network Adapter is a SAN application where the CNA provides Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) connectivity to Fibre Channel storage. According to HP.com, "the new CNAs from Emulex have been thoroughly tested with HP ProLiant servers and HP Top of Rack (ToR) switches to ensure an optimal HP FCoE solution for your datacenter." The 10Gb Server Adapter for HP ProLiant Servers are LAN applications where the CNAs are used as traditional Network Interface Cards (NICs) with rack and tower servers. HP offers the NC550SFP from Emulex as a qualified option on most ProLiant DL and ML servers and ships with advanced server features that ProLiant customers have come to expect, including support for TCP checksum and segmentation, Large Send and Large Receive offload capability, VLAN tagging, 9K jumbo frames, IPv4 and IPv6, teaming for failover and load balancing and TCP/IP Offload for Windows. The 10Gb Server Adapter for HP BladeSystem c-Class Servers are another LAN application where the CNAs are used as a traditional Network Interface Card (NIC) with blade servers. The HP NC550m Ethernet Adapter joins the NC550m from Broadcom as the 10Gb adapter options for HP's top-of-the-line blade servers.
With the new 10Gb adapters from Emulex on hp.com this week, HP racked up a wide variety of important design wins for adapter manufacturers, and the Emulex announcement indicates the company broke first. It's too early to tell if Emulex is going to ride the break shot all the way to victory, but they're on a run.
Disclaimer: IT Brand Pulse is currently is doing business with Emulex Corporation. The statements and opinions in this blog are my own and are not paid endorsements for or against the vendors or products.Frank Berry is CEO of IT Brand Pulse, a company that surveys customers about their perceptions on vendors and their products. Berry is a 30 year veteran of the IT industry including senior executive positions with QLogic and Quantum. View Full Bio