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Emulex, QLogic Unveil 8-Gbit/s FC

Emulex and QLogic celebrated the eighth day of the eighth month of 2007 by issuing separate announcements of 8-Gbit/s Fibre Channel products.

Though many users are just getting into 4-Gbit/s wares, both suppliers insist higher-end customers, particularly those with increasingly virtualized networks, are looking to adopt the higher-speed networks within a year or so.

Some analysts agree. "I think the biggest driver for 8-gig Fibre Channel is the onslaught of virtualization. As people put more applications on one server, they need higher throughput HBAs," says Bob Laliberte of the Enterprise Strategy Group.

Both Emulex and QLogic say they're testing the 8-Gbit/s products now and expect to start sampling to OEMs this quarter. Both insist the 8-Gbit/s products will use the same drivers and management software offered for each vendor's previously released 2- and 4-Gbit/s kit.

Notably, though, there are no promises on pricing. "Pricing is set by OEMs. There will be a bit of a differential at first, until volume ramps up," says Scott McIntyre, VP of software and customer marketing at Emulex.

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