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May 08, 2012
Emulex Dives into High-Performance Networking Market with I/O Connectivity Solutions

Everyone else might be donning their bathing suits in anticipation of taking a dive into the swimming pool in just a few weeks, but Emulex (News - Alert) Corporation, a provider of converged networking solutions, has its eyes on diving into another body of water – the high performance networking (HPN) pool.

Through its partnership with Myricom (News - Alert), the company introduced another “must have” to the market, aside from summer dresses and Sperry boat shoes -- a family of new OneConnect Network Xceleration solutions for the HPN market. In addition, the company boasts its next-generation Emulex Engine (XE) 201R converged fabric controller, and its next-generation XE4310R Ethernet controller.

Both solutions deliver a vast array of I/O connectivity solutions to address the needs of the changing data center, according to company officials.

“We got into the 10 Gig market about four years ago,” Shaun Walsh, Emulex’s senior vice president of marketing, told TMCnet. “We were in the Fibre Channel business but the market flattened out and we were looking for the next segment to get into. With Ethernet and 10 Gig, there was an interesting phenomenon that was happening which is the standards organization decided they wanted to put storage and Fibre Channel on the same network as traditional 10 Gigabit Ethernet, which meant that folks like ourselves were going okay we better come up with a strategy to address this or all those Ethernet guys are going to take our money.”

“The difference between us and what QLogic and Brocade (News - Alert) tried to do is they tried to hold onto Fibre Channel pricing, and one of the strategic things we did that really had nothing to do with product was we said if you are going to win in the 10 Gig market you better own the 10 Gig NIC, because people are going buy a NIC a lot more often than they will be a Fibre Channel card,” he added. “That’s evidenced by the fact that Ethernet is 100 percent connectivity and Fibre Channel is about 20 percent connectivity in the server world. When we did that, we really committed ourselves to being in the 10 Gigabit Ethernet NIC and LAN business more than we did being in the storage business, which for us was a pretty radical shift.”

Through its partnership with Myricom, a source of extreme performance Ethernet solutions for vertical market applications, Emulex brings its new family of OneConnect (OC)e12000 10Gb Ethernet (10GbE) Network Xceleration solutions to industry.

The partnership allows Emulex to offer I/O connectivity solutions that speak to the rapidly growing Ethernet-based HPN market, expected to realize a 63-percent compounded annual growth rate by 2016, according to Walsh.

As part of its new market interest, Emulex is offering three OneConnect Network Xceleration solutions marketed at specific vertical applications, which leverage kernel bypass operations that reduce latency and transaction times in conjunction with the OCe12000 adapters, including FastStack DBL (financial trading), FastStack Sniffer10G (cyber/network security) and FastStack VideoPump (video streaming and digital content delivery).

“One of the things we knew about this market was the hardware is relatively straightforward; it’s all the software for each of the vertical applications and all the error handling which really makes the stuff special,” Walsh said. “We looked around for a partner that could help us understand this business and that’s how we came to Myricom.”

The financial trading vertical, for example, can enjoy FastStack DBL, combined with Emulex OCe12000 to deliver industry-leading performance by accelerating UDP (News - Alert) and TCP communication in high-frequency trading (HFT) environments over industry-standard 10GbE network and IP protocols.

Its chief features include: low latency performance which allows for speedier transactional performance in HFT environments; broad platform support as it is optimized for use on Linux and Windows operating system platforms; superior performance while accelerating existing Linux and Windows sockets applications without modifications; and flexible architecture since it can be combined with FastStack Sniffer10G.

Catering to the cyber/network security sector, FastStack Sniffer10G offers users a way to seamlessly enjoy network traffic capture, injection and analysis for performance-sensitive and mission-critical market segments, such as network surveillance, monitoring and analysis.

Other features include 100 percent lossless packet capture for all Ethernet packet sizes on a 10GbE data stream; improved multi-core utilization; and increased bandwidth as port aggregation allows network traffic from two or more ports from the same or different OCe12000 adapters.

Lastly, its FastStack VideoPump, designed for the video streaming and digital content delivery user, delivers more video streams per server and improves asset utilization for video streaming and IPTV (News - Alert).

Available later this quarter, it boasts the following features: predictable QoS with more effective data pacing and efficient bandwidth usage; reduced CAPEX as it supports more than 25,000 video streams per server; and increased scalability thanks to line-rate streaming of multiple network adapters per server and more than 25,000 Over-the-Top (OTT) high-definition video streams.

 “As performance and latency become increasingly important, we expect that Ethernet products which can offer these characteristics will enjoy strong network adoption,” said Seamus Crehan, founder and president, Crehan Research.  “This partnership, which combines Emulex’s current 10GbE port shipment leadership position with Myricom’s HPC expertise, is well positioned to address this fast-growing market.”

Emulex is also spreading the word about its next-generation XE201R, a quad-port converged fabric controller that provides unique connectivity combinations of best-of-breed Fibre Channel and Ethernet connectivity on a single ASIC with up to four ports of 8Gb Fibre Channel (8GFC), Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), and 10GbE, two ports of 16GFC or one port of 40GbE, officials said. Aside from improved singal integrity and reliability, the XE201R also brings broad configurability, vScale Virtualization Performance and vPath Virtual I/O Sspport.

Moreover, Emulex’s XE4310R, a highly integrated, low-power, high performance 10GbE controller, is ideal for accelerating network and storage application performance on servers and storage systems and for enterprise applications requiring 10Gb per second wire-speed performance, and advanced I/O virtualization.

The XE4310R is a key component of the next-generation Emulex OCe11000R Universal Converged Network Adapter (UCNA) family.

So what has the feedback been to the initiative so far?

“People are saying that makes a lot of sense,” Nan Boden, CEO at Myricom, told TMCnet. “Myricom’s history and expertise in this area complement what Emulex has been doing so strongly that it just makes a lot of sense coming out of the gate.”

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