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Brocade releases second wave of HBAs

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Meeting the deadlines set with its original Host Bus Adapter (HBA) roadmap, Brocade today is rolling out a second-generation of devices with more respectable performance.

The networking equipment maker now sells two speeds of HBAs - 4Gb/s and 8Gb/s in single-port and dual-port variations.

The 415 (single port) and 425 (dual port) 4Gb/s Fibre Channel to PCI-express HBAs have a maximum 800MB/s throughput per port.

The 815 (single port) and 825 (dual port) 8Gb/s Fibre Channel to PCIe HBAs have a maximum of 1600 MB/s throughput per port.

Brocade says the two lines of HBAs have a maximum transfer rate of 500,000 IOPS per port to better accommodate virtual server requirements. The cards handle security with Fibre Channel-Security Protocol (FC-SP) for device authentication and hardware-based AES-GCM.

Server OSes supported by the adapters include Windows Server 2003 and 2008, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 and 5, Suse Linux Enterprise Server 9 and 10 and Solaris 10 (x86 and SPARC). The company said it plans to support VMware ESX 3.5 in the future.

Brocade announced its entrance into the HBA market in May 2007, utilizing its acquisition of the Ethernet tech startup Silverback. The market is presently dominated by Emulex and QLogic (both Brocade partners when the HBA strike was made).

Brocade claims its new adapters offer tighter integration with its new generation of networking gear, centered around the DCX Backbone switch. The company has a similar vision to Cisco about making the network the center of data center collaboration. (A pretty logical position we suppose, coming from networking gear vendors). ®

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