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Storage vendor FCoE design-ins

Hansen said QLogic is also working with tier 1 storage array vendors, aiming to get its CNA ASIC installed on their array controller boards so they could speak native FCoE and so link direct to an Ethernet switch without any intervening Fibre Channel fabric. Again, it won't say who, but we can guess that the ranks include EMC, HDS, and NetApp.

NetApp has already demonstrated a native FCoE connection. Personally, I'd be surprised if Compellent wasn't also talking to QLogic and the other CNA vendors possibly. We know 3PAR will add an FCoE interface to its arrays next year. Then there are HP with its EVA range, IBM, Sun, and Pillar, not forgetting Fujitsu.

Dell isn't listed here because its Fibre Channel arrays come courtesy of EMC. However, knowing that Compellent very likely has FCoE ambitions, we might speculate about Dell talking to Qlogic and Emulex about FCoE and EqualLogic - there is a certain logic to it, no?

These storage suppliers all have the same problem of having to connect their Fibre Channel arrays to a data centre world heading for FCoE. We can assume, quite reasonably, that they all have FCoE interface considerations underway.

Looking at the server, switch, and storage array vendor FCoE activity it seems there is an FCoE surge under way. Hansen thinks the infrastructure is being put in place far faster than people realise: "I've never seen anything (equivalent) move this fast."

Roadmap

Hansen said QLogic's roadmap includes a shrink of the 8100 to a mezzanine card for blade servers - expect a June announcement - and then a shrink to a single chip which would be installed on a server's motherboard. (Brocade has a single chip target in its road map also). The QLogic single CNA chip could have encryption on it, although no server OEMs have requested that feature, as there is enough real-estate to do so.

QLogic also makes Fibre Channel switch products with HP and IBM both taking its embedded switches. The company also sells stackable switches - HP OEMs them - for the edge of Fibre Channel fabrics, the 9000 line. This line is getting a little long in the tooth and has not been refreshed although there is a development roadmap. The company's share of the central switch/director market is falling, and it may exit that product space.

Hansen is not aware of any QLogic plans to build FCoE switches.

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