This week, both Dell‘Oro Group and IT Brand Pulse released their first reports on network convergence market share for Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) and Emulex is the leader of the market for the first three quarters of this new market triathlon. Yes, triathlon, not marathon, because you can’t just be good at one event here to win. You must be able to swim, bike and run, or, in the IT world, you have be a leader in IP, iSCSI and FCoE to win this race. Most of you who have met me know that I am hardly a tri-athlete, but that does not mean that Emulex does not compete just as hard as these athletes in our own three-event race in the IT world.
Emulex Is at the Top of the Leader Board
According to the numbers, Emulex leads in both revenue, 60.1%, and ports, 70%, over QLogic, Intel and Brocade in this early phase of the market. As we move into the second phase of the market, we know that, OneConnect, our tri-athlete Universal Converged Network Adapter (UCNA), will outdistance the single-event specialists in IP (Intel/Broadcom) or FCoE (QLogic/Brocade). The reason is simple: OneConnect provides full three-protocol hardware offload for IP, iSCSI and FCoE on a single platform; it provides a pay-as-you-go feature to lower 10GbE deployment costs; and it provides these differentiated features universally for servers with Local Area Network on Motherboard (LOM), mezzanine and adapter form factors. If you look at how IBM has implemented their virtual fabric solutions on Emulex OneConnect, they have built a solution that lowers costs and improves performance and flexibility for IT managers. This is the first of many innovations based on our industry-leading technology and implementations.
Training for the Right Events with an Ethernet-based Architecture
One of the key reasons champions win is that they train for all of the events they will compete in—not just one. Emulex rewrote the book on network convergence with our OneConnect UCNA because it is an Ethernet-based architecture, instead of a Fibre Channel-based architecture. This means that we did not retrofit Fibre Channel to fit network convergence’s 10GbE model. Instead, we built a new network convergence strategy design to win every event in the network convergence triathlon—not just FCoE. Our design is winning the hearts and sockets of OEMs because it allows them to compete in every network category with a single architecture. Our published IOPS on FCoE (700K) and iSCSI (600K) both exceed the loftiest numbers from the Fibre Channel market, and they do it on an Ethernet-based architecture. Yes, it still has our enterprise-proven Fibre Channel stack for rock-solid reliability, but it does what every next-generation technology should: it gives you more value and benefit for less money. Combined with our pay-as-you-go upgrade model, we lower the entry cost of network convergence with a base 10GbE network interface card (NIC) and allow IT managers to add iSCSI and FCoE hardware offload as they need it with no upfront tax. Our competitors make customers pay up to 2.5 times the base 10Gb NIC price just to get IP. To learn about how we lower costs, check out the Convergenomics Calculator: http://www.emulex.com/files/tools/FCoE-calc-rev5a.html
Keeping Cool during the Long Race
As we all know, a triathlon is a long race, and keeping things cool over the long swim, bike and run is a key to consistency and success. This holds true for the Ironman and for UCNAs. For some of our competitors, they are getting hotter, not cooler, over time. Running hot is not the way to keep your networking traffic safe and reliable. This is another reason we are building a lead in the fast-moving and growing network convergence market. As I have mentioned in previous blogs, Emulex has a history of providing the highest reliability and enterprise-proven technology for the most demanding IT environments, and that is why we will be able to run the race for the long-term in network convergence and compete coolly in every event: IP, iSCSI and FCoE
10GbE Classes of Service
Over the past few quarters, we have seen IBM, HP, Cisco, EMC, VMware and dozens of our ecosystem partners start to converge on cloud strategies, such as IBM Virtual Fabric, HP FlexFabric and VCE vBlocks from EMC, Cisco and VMware. Each of these new cloud and virtualization solutions has one thing in common for every application and use: they are leading with 10GbE-based network convergence as their connectivity strategy. We may not know how everyone will define, leverage or deploy cloud computing and the next generation of x86 platforms, but we know two things for sure: 10GbE will be the networking fabric they use to connect their deployments and that network convergence will deliver multiple classes of service for IP, VNICs, NAS, iSCSI, FCoE and RDMA in the future.
Lead Early, Set the Pace and Finish Strong
One member of our Emulex team, who is a tri-athlete, told me that in the Iron Man, you want to be strategic in each event. It is best to lead early, set a pace that others struggle to meet and finish strong so they lag behind when you pull away. This is exactly what we are executing in the network convergence market, and we are sure that it will prove to be the winning strategy.