Emulex, QLogic 8-Gig Get EMC Approval

More 8-Gbit/s momentum as vendors wax bullish on Fibre Channel upgrade UPDATED 2:55 PM

May 8, 2008

2 Min Read
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EMC has certified Emulex and QLogic 8-Gbit/s Fibre Channel HBAs, showcasing momentum behind the new upgrade.

For Emulex, EMC is the third publicly announced reseller of a claimed 22 for its 8-Gbit/s Fibre Channel HBAs. In March, Emulex announced that Oracle's VM virtualization software supports its 8-Gbit/s HBAs; and in April, it reported integration with Microsoft's System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008.

For its part, QLogic has announced that HP has certified its HBAs.

Hopkinton has certified the Emulex LightPulse LPe12000 series and QLogic's 2500 series for use with its Clariion, Celerra, and Symmetrix system families through its EMC E-Lab testing program. EMC will resell both vendors' HBAs through the EMC Select channel program.

Emulex and QLogic are pushing hard on the 8-Gbit/s pitch, claiming that demand is building for the next Fibre Channel upgrade. During QLogic's latest earnings call, CEO H.K. Desai predicted that Fibre Channel sales would account for 20 percent of revenues by the end of this year, driven by strong 8-Gbit/s takeup.Why would 8-Gbit/s sales be so strong when some shops haven't even filled up 4-Gbit/s capacity? "We see a critical foothold in virtualization and highly transactional applications," says Al Gamarra, Emulex senior product marketing manager. "You'll see a transition led by customers needing higher line rate for virtual resources or simply future-proofing their SANs."

Gamarra says a server refresh is accompanying the adoption of virtualization, and that as customers improve their server I/O, they're looking for corresponding increases in SAN throughput.

"PCI Express 2.0 with four lanes can saturate two 8-Gbit/s Fibre Channel links quite easily," he notes.

At least one analyst says the 8-Gbit/s surge indicates that Fibre Channel is still a strong force in enterprise storage. "Eight-Gig is in a great spot, joining other presumed dead or zombie technolgies, including the mainframe, magnetic disks and tapes, Windows, Unix, and printers, among others that continue to sell and do very well," says Greg Schulz of the StorageIO Group. "There is still plenty of life and strong legs for Fibre Channel, with 8-Gig just barely starting to ramp up. For existing customers that want or need to go another round with FC, 8-Gig gives that to them. For those watching FCoE evolve, 8-Gig gives them a path to follow until FCoE and its ecosystem are ready for primetime."

While Schulz says customers will be jumping over to iSCSI and/or NAS as they upgrade, he thinks 8-Gbit/s adoption will help offset the effect of those leaving Fibre Channel for other options.Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Byte and Switch's editors directly, send us a message.

  • EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC)

  • Emulex Corp. (NYSE: ELX)

  • Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ)

  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)

  • Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL)

  • QLogic Corp. (Nasdaq: QLGC)

  • The StorageIO Group0

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