Emulex combines FCoE, iSCSI, IP networking into one chip

Virtualization- and blade-friendly converged network adapter in the works.

Emulex's newest converged network adapter, due out later this year, contains several key improvements.

Emulex is developing a new converged network adapter that is optimized for virtualized infrastructures and maximizes blade consolidation while supporting several IP and storage networking protocols all within a single chip.

Emulex’s OneConnect, announced Thursday and due for release the second half of 2009, will provide connectivity for TCP/IP, iSCSI, network-attached storage, Fibre Channel over Ethernet, and “all leading server architectures,” Emulex says.

Moving to converged network architectures is a big shift for Emulex, says vice president of corporate marketing Shaun Walsh. Competing against QLogic and Brocade in the emerging market for CNAs, Emulex is moving in this direction because of changing server architectures, the growing prominence of converged network standards, and to gain new market share opportunities.

“Emulex has been predominantly a Fibre Channel-only company up to this point,” Walsh says. “This is the first of the converged network products that will truly be able to go mainstream.”

Emulex’s first generation CNA, announced last April, used three chips instead of one and only worked with a limited number of servers. OneConnect will be able to run in any standard server or blade, Walsh says. Additionally, a smaller form factor will enable savings on switches, adapters, rack space, cabling, and power and cooling, Emulex says.

Walsh says the converged network adapter will help IT pros maximize use of blade servers, which have a limited number of ports on the back end. Virtualization-friendly features in the CNA will help increase the number of virtual machines that can fit into a physical server.

Emulex Thursday also announced OneCommand, an automated management platform for OneConnect. The software is designed to simplify I/O management, provide services to individual virtual machines, secure data and networks, and dynamically provision I/O services to fit the needs of specific applications, servers and virtual machines.

Separately, Emulex announced a new host-based encryption product, dubbed the Secure HBA, which encrypts data in transit and at rest, and supplies access controls, management processes and reporting tools which are useful for auditing.

The announcements were made in conjunction with Emulex’s 30th anniversary. All products mentioned will be available the second half of 2009.

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