Posted by: Dave Raffo
Another piece of the Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) puzzle was put in place today when IBM said it will ship QLogic’s 8142 converged network adapters (CNAs) inside the Power Systems server platform for native FCoE connectivity.
IBM’s p Series servers run Unix and Linux operating systems. QLogic reps are crowing over the design win because it comes in its biggest rival’s backyard. IBM ships Emulex Fibre Channel HBAs exclusively with its p series, but has gone to its rival for FCoE adapters. Satish Lakshmanan, QLogic’s director of product marketing for host solutions, says QLogic’s is the only CNA that will ship with the IBM p series.
The 8142 is part of QLogic’s 8100 Series single-chip CNA platform that handles 10-Gigabit Ethernet traffic and has an integrated FCoE offload engine.
“This gives them a foot in the door in the p series,” Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Bob Laliberte said of QLogic.
Laliberte says the long-time FC HBA rivals have taken different paths in the early days of converged networking, with QLogic racking FCoE design wins while Emulex picks up 10-Gigabit Ethernet wins with its universal converged network adapters (UCNAs).
“QLogic was first to market with a single-chip architecture for FCoE that’s dramatically lower in power consumption, footprint and heat,” Laliberte said. “Being first out of the gate gives them a chance to get design wins in FCoE. Emulex is going in a different direction. You see Emulex getting wins for 10-gigE and down the road partners have an option to turn on FCoE.”
“This isn’t the only customer we’ve swiped away,” Lakshmanan said. “There’s more that will be coming.”
NetApp said in August that it would rebrand QLogic’s 8152 CNA as a built-in adapter for its FAS storage arrays. NetApp also qualified Brocade’s 1020 CNA but not Emulex’s yet.
IBM also sells QLogic’s 8100 CNAs on its System x and BladeCenter servers, and EMC qualified QLogic’s CNA on its Symmetrix, Clariion and Celerra NS storage platforms.
These are still early days for FCoE and converged adapters, though. Widspread adoption of FCoE on servers isn’t expected before 2011 and it will likely take years after that for it to show up in any volume on the storage side.