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Brocade Busts Out HBAs & FCOE Roadmap

Brocade busted out its plans for Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCOE) at its annual Technology event today, as well as unveiling its first HBA offering.

With FCOE slowly gaining momentum , the vendor is developing a top-of-rack switch, a blade that will fit into the vendors DCX director, and a family of FCOE HBAs, according to Ian Whiting, general manager of Brocade’s data center infrastructure division.

“[The top of rack switch] is in development; we will probably start to get products to the OEMs in the late fall time-frame,” he says, adding that the switch, along with the other FCOE offerings, could be on the market early next year.

Brocade’s move follows rival Cisco’s recent announcement of its Nexus 5000 device, which the vendor is touting as the industry’s first “unified fabric switch”. Other vendors that have pinned their colors to the FCOE mast include Intel, Emulex, NetApp, and QLogic, which are all championing the technology as a way for users to consolidate their data center gear.

Brocade’s Whiting admits that users could streamline their cabling by running Fibre Channel over existing Ethernet links, but warned that FCOE will not be a cheap alternative to traditional Ethernet.

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