IBM picks QLogic adapters for CEE, FCoE connectivity

-- IBM is continuing to build out its portfolio of high-speed converged networking technologies with the news today that it will integrate QLogic's single chip 8100 Series converged network adapters (CNAs) for native Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) connectivity in its mainstream server portfolio.

IBM plans to offer native FCoE connectivity on all of its rack and tower series servers, including the new Intel Xeon 5500-powered BladeCenter and System x servers.

The QLogic 8100 Series CNAs support simultaneous storage and data networking traffic at full 10GbE line speeds, consume one-third the power of existing CNA chip sets.

QLogic also announced today the 10Gb CEE high-speed Pass-thru Module, which provides 14 non-blocking connections between CNAs installed on IBM BladeCenter servers and external 10GbE or 10Gb CEE switches and devices. The QLogic 8100 CNAs work in tandem with the 10Gb CEE Pass-thru Module.

The Pass-thru Module translates internal 10 Gigabit Media Independent Interface (XAUI) connections on up to 14 CNA-enabled servers to external SFP+ optical media ports, for direct attachment to new CEE and FCoE devices as well as to existing 10GbE LANs.

Both the 8100 CNAs and Pass-Thru Modules can be used with other products in the IBM FCoE and CEE product portfolio, including other pass-thru modules and CNAs, respectively, according to QLogic.

IBM is the first tier-one system vendor to integrate QLogic's 8100 Series CNAs into its server portfolio.

The QLogic announcement comes on the heels of an expansion of IBM's OEM partnership with Brocade. IBM is now reselling Brocade's full line of enterprise IP networking switches and routers acquired from Foundry Networks, as well as Brocade's Fibre Channel SAN switches.

The Brocade and QLogic deals are part of a bigger "dynamic infrastructure" strategy at Big Blue. IBM also recently announced new hardware, software and services for streamlining networking connectivity and improving IT efficiency. For example, IBM introduced a service offering called IBM Networking, Strategy, Optimization and Implementation Services for consolidation and virtualization.

Related articles:
IBM to resell Brocade's IP networking gear
Q&A: Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE)
IBM debuts management software for SSDs

This article was originally published on May 26, 2009