NetApp and Troika Partner for VI FC
- By Scott Bekker
convergence is the storage buzzword du jour, and today’s announcement from Network Appliance Inc.
(NetApp) and Troika Networks Inc.
companies would partner to develop Fibre Channel-based Virtual Interface (VI)
technologies for NetApp’s line of NAS devices added to the buzzword’s gravitas.
beginning to push it line of Filer NAS devices as a high speed SAN gateway.
Servers can attach to the device with either standard or VI-enable Ethernet,
then use the NAS device for connecting Fibre Channel storage devices.
partnership with Troika allows NetApp to integrate VI-enable Fibre Channel Host
Bus Adapters (HBA) into its high end filers, allowing high speed connections to
announced a partnership with Giganet this
past summer to provide VI-enabled IP-based server-to-NAS connectivity. Giganet
was purchased last week by Fibre Channel vendor Emulex
Corp. “We don’t view these as competing partnerships at all,” says Adam
Trunkey, director of communications at NetApp.
addition of the Troika product, NetApp now will soon have an end-to-end VI
solution. It combines the file-level I/O of NAS and the block-level I/O of
SAN,” says Brenda Christensen, director of marketing at Troika.
been shipping VI-enabled HBAs, which it calls “controllers,” for about a year,
and has previously announced partnerships with Hitachi Storage Systems to
resell the controllers. However, Troika has had an initiative to develop for
NetApp’s Direct Access File System (DAFS) in the pipe for some time, so the
partnership with NetApp adds to its ability to leverage its compatibility with
of SAN and NAS is real,” Christensen declares, believing that the lines between
the two storage paradigms will become blurred. If NetApp is successful in
promoting its filers as a SAN gateway, it may allow users to integrate both
technologies into their datacenters seamlessly.
VI is a
technology for direct memory transfers from a server to another device. It
allows high speed network connections, because TCP/IP or Fibre Channel stack
processing is offloaded from the main processor, to a secondary card.
In order to
benefit from VI, software developers must make their applications “VI-aware,”
able to support the VI cards. Christensen says that many major software vendors
are ready for VI. “This is one case where database vendors have moved ahead of
the hardware vendors,” Christensen says. – Christopher McConnell
Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.