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QLogic Sets The Stage For Networking's Future

Networking and ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) developer QLogic is building out its Adaptive Convergence strategy with new adapters, switches and routers that power 16-Gbit Fibre Channel or 10-Gbit data center Ethernet networks from the same hardware. The company's portfolio offers "any-to-any" connectivity by building in TCP/IP, iSCSI, Fibre Channel over Ethernet and native Fibre Channel. The announcements included FlexSuite adapters, Universal Access Point switches and intelligent Storage Routers (iSR).

An end-to-end fabric solution (Fabric Freedom) that provides access to anything through any port reduces hardware requirements and lowers costs, says the company. The company adds that it is providing dual-personality adapters that can run any protocol without having to uplift any infrastructure.

QLogic first launched its Adaptive Convergence strategy a year ago in what was called "the equivalent of a nuclear blast across the converged networking landscape, metaphorically leveling the competition in its wake." With it, the company aims to deliver flexible network resources across the enterprise and help its OEMs create autonomic, adaptable and flexible IT environments.

The new FlexSuite controller can power both native 16-Gbit Fibre Channel and 10-Gbit CEE converged networks. Qlogic says the FlexSuite PCIe generation 3.0-compliant adapters, powered by the new controller, will be available in a wide variety of form factors and are currently being sampled by Tier-1 server and storage OEMs.

The multiprotocol Universal Access Point switch, UA5900, provides Fibre Channel and Fibre Channel over Ethernet top-of-rack (TOR) switch features. Entry-level configurations start with as few as 24 small-form-factor pluggable (SFP) device ports and can grow to 68 device ports per U via "pay-as-you-grow" port licenses. Four optional quad small-form-factor pluggable (QSFP) ports can be initially used as 64-Gbit Fibre Channel trunking ports.

With the company's flex port capabilities, customers can toggle between 16-Gbit Fibre Channel and 10-Gbit Ethernet on any of the 68 SFP ports, enabling deployment of converged network adapters (CNAs) within a traditional Fibre Channel fabric. The converged networking license option provides switchwide access to advanced features including data center bridging, Fibre Channel forwarding and 40-Gbit Ethernet transit ports, allowing the UA5900 to be deployed as an edge or TOR solution in any Ethernet topology.

The iSR intelligent Storage Router provides SAN-over-WAN connectivity for business continuity and disaster recovery, as well as a flexible data migration solution for enterprise-class data centers. General availability of all of the products is expected in the first half of 2012.

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