Feeds

QLogic gets another CNA kiss from IBM

Feel the power

Boost IT visibility and business value

IBM is double-dating with QLogic and its Fibre Channel over Ethernet adapters, in contrast to its less enthusiastic affair with Emulex.

Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) has Fibre Channel data packets transmitted across an Ethernet network with the server using a Converged Network Adapter (CNA) which combines the functions of Ethernet NIC and Fibre Channel Host Bus Adapter (HBA). Emulex and QLogic, the two main HBA manufacturers, are in a race to bring out single chip CNA cards and get design wins for them with server OEMs.

They also want storage array suppliers to use the chips to provide native FCoE access to their products. Brocade and Cisco are providing FCoE-capable Ethernet switches and the general Ethernet industry is helping to develop a lossless and low-latency Ethernet, expected possibly in 2011, which will provide the network speed and reliability needed by FCoE.

IBM has just said it will ship QLogic single-chip 8100 CNAs with its proprietary p Series servers, which use POWER processing chips. QLogic had previously gained a design win for its CNAs with IBM's x Series servers. It has also had its FCoE silicon used by NetApp to provide naive FCoE adapters for its storage arrays. EMC has provided a fourth feather in QLogic's cap by endorsing its CNAs for its storage products.

Emulex has not so far revealed any specific public adoption or certification by OEMs for the FCoE functionality of its CNA chip. This chip provides 10GigE NIC functionality and is said to provide RDMA and TCP/IP offload as well as the FCoE functions. It has been certified by IBM for use as a 10gigE adapter with its BladeCenter servers. The chip is software-upgradable to FCoE functionality so the potential for IBM FCoE endorsement is there.

Meanwhile IBM has endorsed an encrypting version of Emulex' Fibre Channel HBAs, pointing up Emulex' lack of public success in the CNA stakes. There is a fair amount of FUD flying around the CNA scene, much of it asking if Emulex actually does have a working CNA chip, meaning hardware and firmware, and suggesting that working with Server Engines instead of owning its own silicon is disadvantageous.

It is still very early days in FCoE adoption terms and early land grabs may not amount to much at all, especially if the Emulex chip really can do TCP/IP offload and RDMA as well as FCoE. The tables could well be turned in the future. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7
New chip scales to 1024 cores, 8192 threads 64 TB RAM, at speeds over 3.6GHz
Docker kicks KVM's butt in IBM tests
Big Blue finds containers are speedy, but may not have much room to improve
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
Gartner's Special Report: Should you believe the hype?
Enough hot air to carry a balloon to the Moon
Flash could be CHEAPER than SAS DISK? Come off it, NetApp
Stats analysis reckons we'll hit that point in just three years
Dell The Man shrieks: 'We've got a Bitcoin order, we've got a Bitcoin order'
$50k of PowerEdge servers? That'll be 85 coins in digi-dosh
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.