October 29th, 2013 by Bill Valle
Emulex Gen 5 Fibre Channel Flash Services Enable QoS for SLAs
Emulex has long been a leader in the Host Bus Adapter (HBA) for SANs market, and have announced Gen 5 Fibre Channel Flash Services will be available for upgrade at no additional charge with the purchase of the Gen 5 HBA hardware. Both server and fabric based flash arrays are employed to enhance the quality of service (QoS) and I/O performance in the storage infrastructure via priority based queuing and in-band message passing from new features ExpressLane and CrossLink, respectively.
Emulex ExpressLane Overview
Emulex ExpressLane can be used to tune the QoS for the critical business applications running on the hybrid environments of both SSD flash arrays and traditional disk drives. In such a mixed environments it is imperative to not block any high priority data coming off the faster SSDs with the slower traffic from the spindle based ones. ExpressLane allows the administration team to give higher priority to key processes and that alleviates congestion, reduces latency, and improves throughput for the most critical business applications. With that capability the IT infrastructure has the capability to meet service level agreements (SLAs) by the prioritization and subsequent queuing of the data from the hybrid SAN environment. The ExpressLane feature can be turned on and off via the OneCommand Manager.
Emulex CrossLink Overview
Emulex CrossLink is a new feature that allows in-band message passing between Fibre Channel (FC) nodes, which vastly increases the level of coordination of traffic on the SAN. Current connectivity issues including connectivity, latency, excessive host CPU utilization, and lack of coordination between other storage devices can be alleviated with CrossLink’s capability of optimizing these communications and increasing reliability by leveraging lossless FC protocols. In-band message passing is more efficient and reliable than TCP/IP and UDP communications and will significantly reduce latency and minimize CPU utilization over those commonly used protocols and is supports both FC-CT and FCoE standard protocols.
Also announced from Emulex is Brocade ClearLink support, which allows enhanced SAN diagnostics and troubleshooting when deployed with all 16GFC Emulex LightPulse Gen 5 FC HBAs and Brocade’s Gen 5 (16GFC) FC switches.