Feeds

QLogic to launch Transformers-style adapter cards: They're also flash caches

Robot-car-plane-style tech promises more virtual machines, faster applications

The essential guide to IT transformation

QLogic is adding flash storage to its server adapter cards so they become PCIe-connected flash caches, speeding up SAN I/O-bound applications in the servers with read I/O acceleration.

The company makes a line of Fibre Channel Host Bus Adapters (HBAs) and Ethernet-based Converged Network Adapters (CNAs) that can run the FCoE protocol over Ethernet as well as perform all the other Ethernet adapter functions. QLogic's main rival is Emulex, and SAN and Ethernet switch supplier Brocade has a line of adapters as well. Q's cards are connected to a server's PCIe bus and sit inline between servers and networked block storage arrays.

In recent years, the idea of the PCIe-connected flash memory card has been popularised by Fusion-io as a way of caching or storing hot data from the arrays on flash memory within the server. Having a PCIe-connected flash cache means you can avoid CPU-delaying I/O waits due to disk drive latency and network crossing times. Such PCIe flash can accelerate applications up to 90 per cent or more, making them more responsive to their users and enabling virtualised servers to run more virtual machines.

With QLogic cards already PCIe-connected, and sitting firmly on the server-SAN data path, it makes sense for to add PCIe flash caching, and will be good move in terms of its product, channel and market capabilities. In its latest quarterly results earnings call, Q's CEO Simon Biddiscombe spoke of a coming new server host-based product: "We will... shortly be deploying highly innovative new products which solve significant data centre problems and will result in increased available markets. These exciting products are unlike anything we have previously undertaken and represent promising new expansion opportunity. A public announcement on this topic will be forthcoming shortly."

A flash HBA/CNA would combine the functions of a flash card and an adapter on one card, making better use of PCIe slots and, presumably, simplifying the drivers within the server.

Today NetApp announced its Flash Accel server flash caching software and strategy, with seven partners – including Fusion-io, LSI, Micron and Virident – providing NetApp-validated server flash hardware. QLogic was also one of those partners with its new caching card.

Q, of course, has a substantial OEM and VAR channel for its HBAs and CNAs and its partners will, no doubt, be keen to have a look at this new product line.

We understand that a formal announcement from Q will take place in the next couple of weeks or so. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Pay to play: The hidden cost of software defined everything
Enter credit card details if you want that system you bought to actually be useful
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers
Think those are cool? Wait till you get a load of our racks
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
VMware's high-wire balancing act: EVO might drag us ALL down
Get it right, EMC, or there'll be STORAGE CIVIL WAR. Mark my words
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
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.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.