NetApp Teams with Intel on End-to-end Fibre Channel over Ethernet Infrastructure

NetApp has announced it will support the Intel Ethernet X520 family of SFP+10-Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) server adapters. This extends NetApp’s ecosystem of Ethernet solutions and offers customers more ways to deploy an end-to-end Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) infrastructure. By offering customers options to make the transition from a Fibre Channel infrastructure to a high-performance FCoE infrastructure, NetApp helps them increase the flexibility of their IT to manage more storage and protocols at lower costs.

10GbE unified networking provides a simple, flexible, and well-understood fabric for today’s dynamic data centers and lays the groundwork for new computing models, including cloud computing. Both early supporters of FCoE, NetApp and Intel are looking to drive the transition to a unified data center on 10GbE. NetApp is the first storage vendor to support native FCoE storage, and Intel is the first Ethernet adapter vendor to support Open FCoE (, which enables FCoE in standard 10GbE adapters.

“NetApp’s core belief is that unified storage helps our customers achieve business breakthroughs by giving them a universal storage solution to support all aspects of their business,” says Patrick Rogers, vice president of Solutions and Alliances at NetApp. “By enhancing our product portfolio with supported 10GbE and Open FCoE products from Intel, we’re giving customers the flexibility they need to set up unified Ethernet solutions in their existing environments and realize substantial benefits in cost reduction, ease of use, and efficiency.”

NetApp unified storage supports customers’ existing Fibre Channel investments as well as FCoE, iSCSI, and NAS, allowing them to take a phased approach to consolidating their data centers around Ethernet. This single platform approach allows customers to transition their existing Fibre Channel infrastructure with new, cost-effective FCoE technology, helping them consolidate and simplify their storage infrastructure. This can reduce the amount of storage hardware customers need in their data center, which in turn can lead to significant reductions in power use and administrative overhead. By working with Intel, NetApp hopes to make it even easier for customers to consolidate around 10GbE and FCoE by working with vendor technology they already know and trust.

“It is exciting to see NetApp support Intel technology to advance 10GbE and Open FCoE and help customers consolidate their data centers,” says Tom Swinford, vice president and general manager, LAN Access Division, Intel Corporation. “The Intel Ethernet X520 family of 10GbE server adapters makes it easier for customers to move to a single platform, reduce the cost of building out, and maintain their storage network.”

Customers such as Databasement, a cloud-based storage provider, have reported operational and capital savings as well as enhanced performance with NetApp unified storage and FCoE. Since Databasement serves a diverse set of clients, the company looked to NetApp and its solutions partners to help simplify its customers’ data storage. NetApp helped Databasement manage any protocol and offer its customers 10GbE FCoE as a high-performance, low-cost option without deploying additional hardware or affecting service levels.

“Since Databasement’s founding, in 2001, NetApp has been one of the most important technologies in our portfolio, providing the flexibility and efficiency we need to be able to keep costs down and performance up and provide our customers with a full range of storage options,” says Rob Christ, Databasement’s founder and director. “Regardless of what setup the customer has, we can use IP-based protocols such as iSCSI and FCoE on our side to keep costs down. The more options we can provide our customers, the better we’re able to serve their needs, and that’s why we rely on NetApp’s unified storage.”

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