Emulex Introduces New Accelerator for SAN Virtualization

 
 
By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2007-03-15
 
 
 
Storage infrastructure vendor Emulex on March 15 introduced a new appliance for data centers that provides acceleration for SAN-based storage virtualization applications.

Emulex, based in Costa Mesa, Calif., made the announcement in Hannover, Germany on the opening day of the annual CeBIT IT conference.

The Model 765 platform is a 1U system with four Fibre Channel ports that is based on Emulexs AV150 Intelligent Storage Processor. The appliance is available now for OEMs to test and qualify as a fabric-based platform for storage management and advanced data protection services, a company spokesperson said.

Due to its split-path architecture, the Model 765 Intelligent Services Platform can handle a range of emerging SAN-based applications, including storage virtualization, replication, continuous data protection, and VTL applications, the spokesperson said.

Click here to read about new storage processors introduced by Emulex at the Intel Developer Forum.

Emulex Model 765 is capable of supporting up to 1.2M IOPS and 1400 MB/sec of aggregate throughput. Further, support for N_port connectivity on the platform enables interoperability with existing SAN fabric, so it is able to interoperate with a users current infrastructure, the spokesperson said.

Model 765 also boasts a 20 GB/sec processing engine, custom-built data streaming architecture and high integration capability, the spokesperson said.

More of a Packaging and Services Play

"The Emulex announcement is more of a packaging and services play than a technology announcement, and it is a big deal in my opinion," Brian Garrett of Enterprise Strategy Group in Milford, Mass., told eWEEK.

"The split-path technology that Emulex acquired through Aarohi (acquired in April 2006) has been in the hands of OEMs for years. Ive seen it demod. It is architecturally elegant, flexible, affordable and wicked fast."

The affordability of Emulexs ASIC-based solution also really shines through in this announcement, Garrett said.

"Packaged as an appliance instead of a chip or an intelligent HBA [host bus adapter] with an entry-level price under $10,000, it provides a competitively priced platform for OEMs and end users to get started with heterogeneous fabric-based intelligence," Garrett said.

By their very nature, centralized deployments, fabric-based storage applications and services tend to demand the highest levels of performance and scalability, said Taufik Ma, Emulexs vice president of marketing.

"The Model 765 platform was built from the ground up to address these requirements," Ma said.

Virtualization Acceleration: An Emerging Market

Emulex is moving forward quickly in an important new emerging market, Garrett told eWEEK.

"I doubt that EMC, HP and IBM are quaking in their boots with this announcement ... but this is a new and emerging market that is still up for grabs," Garrett said. "Other than IBM with its SVC and a few EMC Invista customers, market adoption has been light to date.

"IBM or EMC could OEM this platform, or could use similar technology to turn their in-band and intelligent switch-based solutions into a split-path solution. Theyve probably already evaluated this. For the rest of the OEMs, this provides a quick path to market to compete with IBM, EMC and the tier 2 vendors whove gotten some traction in this space (e.g., FalconStor and StoreAge/LSI)," Garrett added.

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