Emulex ships converged network adapter

Emulex this week shipped a 10 Gigabit Ethernet server adapter that performs all sorts of functions through a single chip.

The OneConnect Universal Converged Network Adapter offloads protocol support for TCP/IP, iSCSI and Fibre Channel over Ethernet. Its goal is to consolidate network and storage infrastructures. Emulex introduced the adapter earlier this year, and IBM recently chose the adapter for its BladeCenter HS22 servers. 

Emulex’s history is in Fibre Channel, and in fact the company just last month unveiled its latest Fibre Channel host bus adapters, with four ports running at 8Gbps. 

The company’s position in the white-hot data center networking market has led to an interesting battle over the past year. After talks broke down, network chip maker Broadcom made an unsolicited bid for Emulex in the spring for $764 million, and industry watchers said the move raised the bar for competitors in that area, such as Cisco.  But Emulex turned down the offer, saying it was too low, even after it was raised to about $925 million. At the time, Emulex claimed that it had recently sealed some OEM deals with big players, at Broadcom’s expense.

When it failed to compete against Emulex and failed to buy Emulex, Broadcom sued the company.  Last month, Broadcom said Emulex infringed on 10 of its patents related to high-speed data and storage networking.

The new adapter supports full TCP/IP hardware offload, including TCP Chimney, Emulex says. The hardware offloads for iSCSI or FCoE can be added later, when users are ready to converge their data and storage networks. The offload functions are intended to give the main server processor a rest, so that all network functions are handled on the adapter itself.

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