By Dave Simpson
– Archrivals Emulex and QLogic continued their ante-upping in the converged networking contest today with both companies announcing design wins from Hewlett-Packard at the HP Tech Forum event in Las Vegas. This time, it wasn't a head-to-head contest: Emulex (NYSE:ELX) got some design wins on the host side, while QLogic (NSDQ:QLGC) got another win on the switch side.
HP (NYSE:HPQ) chose Emulex's OneConnect Universal Converged Network Adapter (UCNA) technology for use in its new ProLiant G7 server blades. Specifically, Emulex chips have been integrated on the HP NC551i Dual Port FlexFabric 10Gb Adapter (a LAN on motherboard, or LOM, implementation) and on the HP NC551m Dual Port FlexFabric 10Gb Adapter mezzanine card. (Emulex refers to its LOM technology as Universal LOM, or ULOM.)
All of the cards support 10Gbps Ethernet (10GbE) and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) or iSCSI concurrently, and provide full hardware offload for TCP/IP, iSCSI and FCoE via Emulex's vEngine technology.
Emulex's 10GbE design win with HP had been rumored for some time, and represents a win over Broadcom (which last year tried to acquire Emulex).
"This is a real watershed for the network convergence market, where you've got 10Gig native FCoE on HP's volume blade products," says Shaun Walsh, vice president of corporate marketing at Emulex.
Emulex had previously announced design wins with HP for chips on the HP NC550SFP Dual Port 10Gb/s Server Adapter, HP ProLiant rack and tower servers, and HP NC550m Dual Port Flex-10 10Gb/s Ethernet Adapter for ProLiant blade servers.
Also at HP Tech Forum today, QLogic introduced an FCoE switching ASIC, code-named "Bullet," that is used in the new HP Virtual Connect FlexFabric 10Gb/24-port module for HP BladeSystems, which combines network convergence (Fibre Channel, iSCSI and FCoE), I/O virtualization and wire-once connection management. Users can allocate 10Gbps network bandwidth across eight connections per dual-port adapter.
HP claims that the Virtual Connect FlexFabric 10Gb/24-port modules, which are built into the new ProLiant G7 server blades, can reduce by up to 95% the amount of network equipment required by eliminating the need for multiple interconnects and switches. The Virtual Connect FlexFabric modules will be available in the third quarter, with a starting price of $18,500.
A key feature of QLogic's FCoE ASIC is its "flex port" technology, which enables ports to be dynamically allocated "on the fly" to support Fibre Channel, iSCSI or FCoE.
"Our competitors [Brocade and Cisco] have fixed-function ports supporting only one protocol," says Jesse Parker, general manager and vice president of QLogic's Network Storage Solutions Group. "With products based on our ASIC, users can change ports to support any protocol." The ASIC uses a non-blocking crossbar switch architecture.
Other QLogic announcements from HP Tech Forum this week included the addition of FCoE functionality to the HP StorageWorks MPX200 Storage Router and the new 12-port, 8Gbps HP StorageWorks SN6000 switch, both of which are based on QLogic technology.
Also at HP Tech Forum today, Fusion-io announced that it has extended its OEM relationship with HP. Fusion-io will provide PCI Express-based IO Accelerators for the HP ProLiant DL and ML server lines. The IO Accelerator is already available with HP's BladeSystem platforms.
The solid-state IO Accelerators will be available in 160GB and 320GB capacities with single-level cell (SLC) flash, and in 320GB and 640GB capacities with multi-level cell (MLC) flash.
Storage highlights from HP Tech Forum
Brocade, HP debut 8Gbps SAN starter bundles
Brocade tackles network convergence, VM mobility
HP to resell QLogic's enterprise FC switches
Guidelines for FCoE deployment
HP unveils more power-efficient rack, blade servers (from Server Watch)