Brocade Launches 8G HBAs; Downplays FCoE


Brocade took its HBA technology up to 8 Gbps this week and is already talking about 10 Gbps Fibre Channel models, but when it comes to running Fibre Channel under the Ethernet protocol, the company is holding up warning signs.


The company's latest generation of HBAs is available in both 4G (models 415 and 425) and 8G (models 815 and 825) versions, with support for QoS, data mobility and data encryption aimed at enhancing the link between virtual servers and storage. The devices support Windows 2003 and 2008 Standard, Enterprise and Datacenter versions, as well as Enterprise Linux and UNIX, Novell SuSE, Solaris and VMware.


At the company's annual pow wow in New York this week, Ian Whiting, VP of the company's Data Center Infrastructure Division, said actual FCoE products look doubtful this year, considering that the standard is only just now entering the final stages of ratification. He said to expect 2009 to be an introductory year for FCoE, with 2010 the year when productions models begin to really infiltrate the data center.


When the products do come out, Whiting said, they will most likely consist of both FCoE and CEE (Converged Enhanced Ethernet) modules for the DCX Backbone platform, as well as a 10 Gbps FCoE switch either for the edge or rack, and a 10 Gbps FCoE server adapter.