EMC blesses Emulex FCoE adapters

Big-name backs emerging technology that could become the common transport across an entire data center.

EMC said Monday it will support a line of Emulex network adapters that use Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCOE), giving a big-name boost to an emerging technology that could become the common transport across an entire data center.

The Emulex LightPulse LP21000 family of converged network adapters (CNAs) are certified for use in SANs (storage area networks) with EMC's Connectrix NEX-5020 FCoE switch and Clariion, Celerra and Symmetrix networked storage systems. The CNAs function as both a storage adapter and a LAN adapter for servers.

EMC has tested the CNAs under its E-Lab program and, starting in the next few weeks, will provide support for them, said Joe Jervis, senior director of product marketing at Emulex.

FCoE combines elements of Fibre Channel, the major storage network technology of the past 10 years, with Ethernet. The new standard, being developed by INCITS (the InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards), won't be formally completed until next year but is beyond the addition of any major changes, Jervis said.

The LP21000 family, announced in April, offers 10G bps performance and was designed in collaboration with Cisco to ensure interoperability with the networking giant's Nexus 5000 data-center switch. By combining several kinds of connectivity on one component, the converged network adapters reduce the number of adapters and cables required in each server, cutting space and power requirements in the process, Jervis said.

FCoE should allow enterprises to move away from having their servers connected to storage via one type of network and to the LAN by another. Some large data centers also have Infiniband to tie together clusters. FCoE can take the place of all three, reducing the need for specialized staff, said analyst Bob Laliberte of Enterprise Strategy Group.

Certifications like EMC's are a critical step forward for FCoE, because they will help to give enterprises confidence that the products will work with equipment already in place. EMC's seems to be the first certification of FCoE gear by any major storage vendor, Laliberte said, but he expects many more to follow before the end of this year.

"It's just another important step in the process to get FCoE into enterprises and getting it tested and deployed for future production use," Laliberte said. Storage administrators are typically conservative, and most new FCoE users will spend next year in testing before rolling out FCoE on their live networks, he said.

Analyst Steve Schuchart, of Current Analysis, thinks FCoE is just a transitional technology on the way to rearchitected data centers that use Ethernet throughout. It's necessary to network the storage gear enterprises already have, but Ethernet will eventually replace Fibre Channel completely because it's getting both faster and cheaper. "That's a dagger to the heart," Schuchart said.

Still, "it's not like Fibre Channel is just going to dry up and blow away," he added, saying the typical replacement cycle for data-center network equipment is five years. Certification by major storage vendors is a big step to get it going because they largely call the shots.

"If I was going to build a storage network, and I'm all EMC, I won't buy anything EMC doesn't bless," Schuchart said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags emcfcoe

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments


James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >


Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?