Emulex Gen 6 fibre channel host bus adapters expands connectivity

2nd March 2016
Jordan Mulcare

Broadcom Limited has announced its family of Emulex Gen 6 Fibre Channel host bus adapters to address the demanding enterprise data storage requirements of flash storage arrays, virtualised and cloud datacentres. Data centres are rapidly deploying flash arrays to accelerate storage performance, but have ended up moving the performance bottleneck from the hard drive to the storage network.

Gen 6 Fibre Channel alleviates the network bottleneck and enables data centres to get maximum ROI from their flash storage investments. Using industry-standard TPC-H benchmarks, research firm Demartek found that when Emulex Gen 6 HBAs were connected to an all-flash array, data warehousing transactions were completed in one-fourth the time compared to 8GFC (Gen 4) HBAs and approximately half the time compared to Gen 5 (16GFC) HBAs, improving business operations and time-to-revenue.

The benefits of deploying Emulex Gen 6 HBAs include:

  • Faster Flash: Deploy flash arrays together with the massive throughput of Emulex Gen 6 HBAs to avoid network bottlenecks, achieve maximum application performance and maximise ROI on Flash investments.
  • Better Virtualisation: Maximise virtual machine density and more easily manage virtual environments.
  • Lossless, Reliable Networking: Enjoy lossless, ultra-reliable storage networking with enhanced diagnostics & troubleshooting features.

The Emulex LPe32000-series is available in single and dual-port models with 32GFC optics. The Emulex LPe31000-series is 32Gb-ready. It is available in single-port and dual-port models with 16GFC optics. Optics can be upgraded to 32Gb, enabling data centres to scale-up when needed. A quad-port, low-profile Gen 6 16GFC HBA is also being announced. Single and dual-port models are available this month, with the quad-port becoming available next quarter.

“The rapid deployment of flash storage arrays and virtualisation are causing new stresses on storage network infrastructures,” said Jeff Hoogenboom, Vice President and General Manager, Emulex Connectivity Division, Broadcom. “The family of Emulex Gen 6 Fibre Channel HBAs will offer our customers a solution that provides the low latency and massive bandwidth that data centres require for optimum flash array performance.”

“The growing deployment of all-flash storage arrays for high performance workloads has shifted the bottleneck to the network,” said Jack Rondoni, Vice President of storage networking, Brocade. “By consolidating workloads onto Emulex and Brocade’s Gen 6 Fibre Channel technologies, enterprise customers can alleviate latency and performance concerns to build out a high performance network that meets their new storage technology requirements.”

"Customers choose Fibre Channel because it is purpose-built for mission-critical storage,” said Seamus Crehan, president, Crehan Research. "The Fibre Channel market is robust and we’ve actually seen host bus adapter TAM growth recently which has been driven by an increasing number of flash-based external storage array deployments connected with Gen 5 Fibre Channel. We believe the market will embrace higher-performance Gen 6 Fibre Channel to further increase customer’s ROI on flash array investments."

“We find that all-flash arrays have such high performance boundaries that they are now capable of all the bandwidth that the storage network can deliver,” said Dennis Martin, President, Demartek. “The results of benchmark testing by Demartek illustrate why every flash storage array should be combined with technology such as Emulex Gen 6 HBAs and Brocade Gen 6 switches.”

“NetApp All Flash Arrays make it easier and faster for enterprises to adapt to new opportunities while delivering consistent customer experiences,” said Lee Caswell, vice president, Product, Solutions and Services Marketing at NetApp. “We look forward to working with Broadcom to help customers maximise the performance for their mission critical applications.”

“As data centres built on the flexible, scalable and reliable foundation of Red Hat Enterprise Linux migrate towards storing mission-critical data on flash arrays, they need to be able to match that performance with equally high-bandwidth, low-latency storage networks, such as that provided by Gen 6 Fibre Channel,” said Jim Totton, vice president and general manager, Platforms Business Unit, Red Hat. “Red Hat is pleased to work with Broadcom as we both seek to deliver the necessary solutions to enable the enterprise IT deployments of the future.”

“As virtualised infrastructures evolve, requirements for more bandwidth, lower costs and simplified management are increasing,” said Howard Hall, senior director, Global Technology Partners Organisation, VMware. “Sharing the vision of reliable storage connectivity, simplified infrastructure operations and increased application SLA visibility, VMware is pleased to collaborate with Broadcom to bring technology advancements in storage connectivity to market.”

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