By Dave Simpson
—In an indication that fabric-based storage virtualization may be moving downstream into the small to medium-sized business (SMB) market, QLogic today announced that it will acquire Troika Networks for $36.5 million in cash. Troika makes storage virtualization platforms that host applications from vendors such as StoreAge Networking Technologies, including backup, replication, mirroring, snapshots, and volume management applications that are sold as the SAN Volume Suite (SVS).
QLogic sells Fibre Channel and iSCSI host bus adapters (HBAs), as well as Fibre Channel switches and blade-server switches.
Frank Berry, vice president of corporate marketing at QLogic, says that the company hopes to spur adoption of Troika's low-end/midrange platforms via QLogic's strong OEM/channel strengths, a luxury that Troika has not had. QLogic will re-brand Troika's Accelera Network Storage Services (NSS) virtualization/acceleration platforms under QLogic's SANbox brand, which includes its Fibre Channel switches. A blade version of Troika's platform is expected next year.
In addition to holding on to Troika's existing software partners, such as StoreAge, QLogic expects to attract additional software developers—both OEMs and ISVs—via partner programs.
The storage virtualization platforms provide a lower-cost alternative to high-end "intelligent switches" from vendors such as Cisco.
Troika's Accelera NSS fabric-based application hosting platforms combine wire-speed Fibre Channel switching and hardware-based acceleration of storage services via the company's ASIC-based ReadyPath technology. To SAN-attached hosts, the Accelera platform appears as a disk array, and to disk arrays it appears as a host.
In addition to StoreAge, Troika's partners include vendors such as StorageTek, VMware, Incipient, and Revivio.