When Trebia Networks Inc. came to public attention this summer, little was known about its product plans (see Trebia's $40M Secret). All the company would reveal was that it had garnered more than $40 million to develop programmable chips geared to storage networking.
Now the cone of silence has lifted. Trebia today unveiled details of what it calls its SNP (storage network processor) (see Trebia Unveils Storage Architecture). And it's shaping up to be pretty much what was expected -- a multiprotocol, programmable storage component with IP capabilities that's designed to replace application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) in storage networking gear.
Trebia says its chip is designed to streamline the creation of host bus adapters, switches, and storage devices in SANs. It will directly interface to IP, Fibre Channel, and gigabit Ethernet networks. It will translate among all the protocols that support these networks, including iSCSI. And it will offer security, classification of lower- and upper-layer traffic, and a direct device interface, all controllable via APIs (application programming interfaces).
Trebia emphasizes the chip's protocol processing capabilities, which the vendor says distinguish it from other network processors that aren't tailored to storage.
"Network processors with TCP offload engines are optimized for setup and teardown of sessions in IP networks," says Brendon Howe, VP of marketing at Trebia. In contrast, SANs are less demanding in terms of TCP setup and teardown, but sessions last longer, and more protocols are involved.