QLogic jumps on hyperscale bandwagon with FC adapter for OCP servers

Facebook launched the Open Compute Project (OCP) in 2011 with the goal of establishing a set of industry standards for hyperscale computing, a new operating paradigm that does away with proprietary solutions in favor of open source software and off-the-shelf data center equipment. Touted as cost-effective and elastic, the architecture proved highly successful in enabling the growth of web-scale giants such as Google and Amazon, but enterprise adoption has remained flat so far. However, if the growing industry interest in the initiative is anything to go by, that is starting to change.

This week’s Open Compute Project Summit saw a flurry of announcements from several top technology companies including Microsoft and QLogic, which introduced the first purpose-built adapter for OCP-certified servers on Tuesday. The QOE2562 8Gb Fibre Channel mezzanine HBA is currently available with Quanta’s STRATOS S215-X1M2Z, a 1U server described as 24 percent cheaper and 38 percent more power-efficient than standard systems.

The S215-X1M2Z runs two 16-core AMD Opteron 6300 processors on an Open 3.0 motherboard, which is designed by the Sunnyvale-based chip maker but manufactured by Quanta itself. It also provides 24 DIMM slots for up to 768GB of memory capacity, and can be ordered with 4 3.5” or 10x 2.5″ hard drive bays for HDDs and flash drives.

“OCP’s genesis was in cloud-oriented mega data centers, but OCP servers are now finding their way into the enterprise where Fibre Channel is the storage interconnect of choice,” said Vikram Karvat, the vice president of marketing at QLogic. “QLogic is the undisputed market share leader in Fibre Channel adapters, and now with our OCP-compliant adapter, we are enabling IT organizations to confidently deploy OCP-based servers with an enterprise-class storage networking solution.”

Wikibon Analyst Stu Miniman noted, “This is important to be able to get into large scale environments, especially going beyond the Googles and Facebooks of the world. Large banks and other very large enterprises want to adopt this, Fibre Channel is trusted and used in these environments. So QLogic, obviously being the market leader in this space, can transition to this environment.”

It’s worth noting that the QOE2562 is based on the 8G FC standard rather than the current 16G spec, which is seeing slower uptake due to cost barriers, higher power consumption and the fact that most applications don’t require that much extra bandwidth. But that didn’t stop QLogic from diving into an agreement with Brocade earlier this month to develop new Gen 5 Fibre Channel products and foster the adoption of upcoming 32G Fibre Channel solutions.

To hear Stu’s full breaking analysis, click on the video below.

Image source QLogic