By Dave Simpson
-- QLogic this week unveiled the 6250 intelligent Storage Router (iSR6250), and announced its first partner: EMC, which will resell the multi-protocol router through the EMC Select Program.
The 6250 is the first router to support 10GbE/iSCSI and 8Gbps Fibre Channel. In a dual-blade configuration, the device includes up to four iSCSI/IP ports and four Fibre Channel ports. The blades are hot-swappable, and all configuration information (e.g., zoning, IP addresses, etc.) is mirrored between blades.
The router provides iSCSI connectivity to EMC's Clariion CX disk arrays, and aggregates up to 1,024 iSCSI hosts, via QLogic's initiator virtualization technology, to a single Clariion array.
In a VMware environment, the iSR6250 enables iSCSI initiators to run on a guest OS, instead of the hypervisor, with each VM managing its own storage LUNs via its own iSCSI initiator, providing dedicated resources and security for individual applications.
QLogic claims performance of up to 2,400MBps of sustained throughput and a maximum of more than 240,000 I/Os per second (IOPS).
There are several use cases for the multi-protocol router. For example, at next week's EMC World conference in Orlando, QLogic and EMC will run a demo of the 6250 in a VMware environment showing how the router can overcome the hypervisor's limitation of 256 LUNs. In the demo, the companies will show the deployment of iSCSI initiators and the 6250's ability to map storage directly to VMs, with support for up to 1,024 VMs.
Another use case, according to Steve Reichwein, QLogic's senior manager of product marketing, is in bandwidth aggregation, where the 6250 aggregates bandwidth between iSCSI hosts with 1Gbps Ethernet connections using 10GbE ports on the 6250 router and CX arrays.
The 6250 router can also be used to improve data management in branch offices by moving block data between NFS servers in remote offices and CX arrays in the main data center over a metropolitan area network (MAN). In this scenario, the remote NFS servers access the data as blocks using iSCSI, at up to 2.4GBps. The advantage is centralized storage and data management/protection in the data center, according to Reichwein. In a 100- to 200-mile MAN connection, he says that transmission delays would be only two to five milliseconds.
Reichwein notes that other use cases for the multi-protocol router include cloud computing and test and development scenarios
QLogic delivers single-chip CNAs