Brocade, Emulex to jointly develop 32-Gb Gen 6 FC technology for SAN, virtualized data centers

Companies see to expand Fibre Channel technology for virtualization, Flash/SSD and cloud networking applications.

Emulex Corp. (NYSE: ELX), a specialist in network connectivity, monitoring and management, and Brocade, Inc. (NASDAQ: BRCD), an expert in networking fabrics, have announced a commitment to jointly develop and align the two companies’ roadmaps around a new generation of advanced Gen 6 (32Gb) Fibre Channel (FC) networking solutions, enabling increased network performance, higher scalability and improved reliability for highly virtualized data centers.

The two companies have a long history of collaboration, including recently announced support for Brocade ClearLink diagnostics, which ensures the reliability and management of storage network configurations, and Emulex Gen 5 Flash Services, including ExpressLane, which provides Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities for flash/solid state disk (SSD)-based storage and Emulex CrossLink which provides in-band message passing between server nodes, delivering optimized performance using lossless, standards-based FC protocols.

According to a press release, Emulex and Brocade are jointly developing Gen 6 (32-Gb) Fibre Channel technology to deliver end-to-end 32GFC-based solutions that will improve performance and scalability to support the demands of highly virtualized data centers and flash/SSD-based applications. To further extend Fibre Channel’s reliability, the companies are also jointly to deliver ClearLink, an advanced end-to-end diagnostic platform, that performs in-band tests on both Brocade Gen 5 FC switches and Emulex Gen 5 FC HBAs, which can detect problems with the physical cabling and optics that could result in increased error rates and intermittent problems.

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Finally, Emulex and Brocade say they will partner to create Flash and SSD Solutions that highlight Emulex’s ExpressLane and CrossLink technology, which is designed to enhance the QoS, optimize I/O performance and increase return on investment (ROI) in IT environments using fabric-based flash arrays and server-based cache.

“Emulex and Brocade have been on the leading edge of innovation in Fibre Channel for virtualization, flash/SSD and cloud applications,” said Shaun Walsh, senior vice president of marketing and corporate development, Emulex. “We are committed to the long term future of Fibre Channel, and are aggressively pursuing our Gen 6 FC roadmap. By working with Brocade, we will continue to be leaders in this strategic market, just as we have been in the Gen 5 FC market transition.”

“Brocade and Emulex are continuing to collaborate on innovative products to meet the needs of our mutual customers,” adds Jack Rondoni, vice president of product management at Brocade. “Customers clearly value the work we have done to integrate ClearLink with Emulex LightPulse Gen 5 FC HBAs and are looking to Emulex and Brocade for continued innovation, and this roadmap alignment ensures that we will meet their needs.”

Emulex concurrently announced that it has certified its new OneConnect OCe14000 family of 10Gb and 40Gb Ethernet network adapters and converged network adapters with Brocade’s flagship VDX Ethernet Fabric switches for use in modern data centers.

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