As a journalist, it’s been interesting to see what went on in the HBA market today. Yesterday, Emulex was briefing press about its announcement of 8 Gbps Fibre Channel components scheduled for today. This morning when I checked the wires, however, there was a very similar announcement from QLogic, by whom I had not been briefed.
Turns out they beat Emulex to getting the press release on the wires by a couple of hours. Today Emulex officials are trying to figure out how they got “scooped” on the announcement; it’s a common occurrence among competitors in my line of work but relatively unusual for IT companies.
In the long run it’s not a big deal, and it’s probably not going to substantially affect either company, except probably to tweak Emulex a little and give some QLogic execs a chuckle today.
Bottom line is, the release of these components is at this juncture a fairly moot point for end users, since 8 Gbps FC HBAs are only really going to come into play when there are 8 Gbps FC SAN switches, which isn’t slated to happen until next year. Both of these components in turn also would need 8 Gbps FC SAN storage systems for 8 Gbps performance, and that’s also at least another six months away, and probably longer.
Emulex is releasing these products in test quantities to system vendors for testing. The HBAs are also available directly to end users who want to be extra, ultra-prepared for the advent of 8 Gbps FC, since they are backward-compatible with 4 Gbps and 2 Gbps FC systems. Emulex also pointed out that users’ technology refreshes don’t always jibe with vendors’ product cycles, so if the vagaries of budgeting dictate outfitting your servers with 8 Gbps HBAs now, now you can go for it.