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A New Pantheon of Network Convergence

11:40 AM -- The challenging global macroeconomic climate necessitates that IT look for ways to unify, consolidate, repurpose, and redeploy technology. We are all looking for savings across power, space, and more efficient management.

Over the past year we have witnessed server consolidation occurring at a staggering pace. This year we will see network convergence accelerate as companies start to deliver technologies that enable IT infrastructures to leverage the ubiquity and economics of Ethernet, while preserving the investments and strengths of Fibre Channel. In other words, Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) connectivity will pick up the pace and start on its rapid adoption curve throughout 2009 and 2010; it stands to reason, given the economy, consolidation, and the move toward more unified and utility-based computing.

The announcement Monday by QLogic of its Gen2 converged network adapters (CNAs), based on its new Network Plus Architecture, will further enable a faster adoption rate of FCoE. With the Network Plus Architecture, QLogic is delivering the 8100 Series of converged network adapters available in multiple form factors for immediate use within blade servers and storage systems.

The Network Plus Architecture delivers a custom ASIC that puts QLogic in the pioneer first-to-market position of delivering a single-chip CNA. The single-chip CNA handles storage and data network traffic at full 10-Gigabit Ethernet line speeds. Also integrated in the ASIC is a full FCoE offload engine, which means lower CPU bandwidth requirements and more CPU power that can be used for virtualization. Comparatively, NICs typically require greater server overhead for FCoE protocol stack processing.

The QLogic single-chip, highly integrated ASIC design eliminates the disaggregated component layout of first-gen CNAs and offers much better power efficiency compared with other CNAs -- 7 watts versus over 20 watts.

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