QLogic Integrates Virtual Interface Into HBAs
- By Scott Bekker
QLogic Corp. has integrated Virtual Interface (VI) technology into its new 2Gbps Fibre Channel Host Bus Adapter. The adapter allows servers to transmit data at high speeds to SANs.
According to QLogic, the SANblade QLA2300-VI is the first HBA to support both the new 2Gbps Fibre Channel standard and VI, leverage two emerging standards for storage. VI allows direct memory-to-memory data transfers, speeding the process of moving data to storage, or moving data between servers. Although VI requires "VI aware" applications, many software vendors, including Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp, support VI for their enterprise databases.
Network Appliance Corp. is a leading proponent of VI, and, not surprisingly, QLogic had NetApp filers in mind when determining the market for the HBAs. The HBAs and their drivers will enable servers to talk directly to the Direct Access Filesystem used in NetApp's filers. Although NetApp has traditionally focused on IP-based storage systems, it is attracted to Fibre Channel both as a way of creating SAN gateways, and because of its ability to transfer block-level data.
In addition to disaster-recovery, QLogic and NetApp see the potential to create high performance database clusters sharing storage with NetApp filers. Multiple servers can attach to the same storage system, creating redundancy for highly available systems.
QLogic rival Emulex Corp. purchased VI developer Giganet late last year. QLogic's integration of VI into a 2Gbps HBA represents a victory for the storage vendor. – Christopher McConnell
Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.