NetApp, QLogic Combine for FCOE Storage Configuration

NetApp will supply the SAN running on QLogic's high-performance chip set in a new partnership. FCOE, which combines the best attributes of industrial-grade Fibre Channel networking and IP-based Ethernet, is generally viewed as key to next-generation data centers.

NetApp and QLogic on Aug. 11 announced a partnership that will provide a new end-to-end 10 Gigabit Ethernet storage infrastructure based on the rapidly emerging Fibre Channel over Ethernet standard.
NetApp will supply the SAN (storage area network) running on QLogic's high-performance chip set.
Analysts and industry experts generally agree that FCOE, which combines the best attributes of industrial-grade Fibre Channel networking and IP-based Ethernet, is the wave of the future in the construction of data centers.
The combination of the two technologies results in a converged Ethernet storage network that comprises the gamut-FCOE, iSCSI, NFS (Network File System), CIFS (Common Internet File System)-of data access, allowing data centers with multiple networking protocols to pipe them all in together without having to dispose of much data center hardware or software.
NetApp and QLogic, along with common partner Cisco Systems, have been increasing their investment in Ethernet as a key storage networking component. NetApp said its 10G Ethernet target port shipments have more than doubled since June 2008, from 3,000 to more than 7,500.
"NetApp and QLogic are making FCOE connectivity ubiquitous in the enterprise at a time when the market is ready for a new, lower-cost fabric optimized for next-generation virtual data centers," said Patrick Rogers, NetApp vice president of solutions marketing. "By implementing QLogic's single-chip architecture, we are able to offer higher levels of performance across our storage portfolio, particularly in virtualized environments, for Ethernet storage."
"NetApp needed a single integrated chip design to simplify power, space and cooling requirements in both the server and the storage system," said Amit Vashi, QLogic's vice president of marketing in the Host Solutions Group.
"QLogic is the only company that could deliver these tangible converged networking solutions today," Vashi said. "QLogic chips handle storage and data networking traffic at full [10G Ethernet] line speeds and consume only one-third the power of competitive CNA chip sets and generate far less heat."
Dave Vellante, a storage analyst with Wikibon, discussed in his blog why 10G Ethernet will be affecting Fibre Channel storage more and more during the next few years.
"To support network computing applications effectively, IT management will increasingly rely on Ethernet networks to simplify storage infrastructure, drive increased efficiencies and lower costs," Vellante wrote. "Specifically, over the next decade, the Wikibon community believes more than 80 percent of the Global 2000 will be on a path to converge significant portions of SAN and LAN traffic onto a single fabric using 10 Gigabit Ethernet (and subsequent technology turns)."
For more information, go to NetApp's site.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he...