QLogic has unveiled a network adapter and switch that allows users to send 16Gbps Fibre Channel and 10GbE traffic over the same wire, while offloading protocol traffic from servers.

Craig Alesso, director of product marketing at QLogic, said that most of the new offerings are slated to ship in 2012 as the company addresses the industry trend of consolidating date centre networks. One of the products, a new intelligent Storage Router, will ship in about 18 months.

QLogic's new network adapter card

QLogic's new 8300 and 2300 series Converged Network Adapters (CNAs) are an upgrade to its existing PCI Express (PCIe)-based product. The 8300 and 2300 offerings each support all network protocols concurrently over a single port; support virtual switch ports; provide data security through IPsec (Internet Protocol Security); and can offload all network protocols from native Fibre Channel, iSCSI, or TCP/IP servers .

QLogic's new top of rack, multi-protocol Universal Access Point switch, called the UA5900, offers administrators the choice of using multiple protocols for typical LAN and storage traffic, including Fibre Channel, Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), and iSCSI.

QLogic's UA5900 top-of-rack switch

The UA5900 switch can start with as few as 24 device ports that can operate in 4Gbps, 8Gbps or 16Gbps Fibre Channel mode, or they can be used as 10GbE ports, according to Alesso. The switch can grow to 68 device ports.

"Also, they can act as 40Gbit Ethernet ports," Alesso said. "With converged everything running over Ethernet. We can separate that traffic or have the ability to aggregate it from multiple sources and put it over one high speed link."

The switch has four optional quad small form factor pluggable ports that can be initially used as 64Gbps Fibre Channel trunking ports. Standard QLogic flex port capabilities allow users to toggle between 16Gbps Fibre Channel and 10GbE on any of the 68 device ports, enabling deployment of CNAs within a traditional Fibre Channel fabric, the company said.

"You don't have to replace directors or core storage adapters right away. You can migrate away from them over time. For example, if you're running FCoE, the UA5900 switch will strip off Ethernet packets and just forward the Fibre Channel packets," Alesso said.

The company also unveiled its next-generation intelligent Storage Router (iSR) that's designed to provide SAN-over-WAN connectivity for business continuity and disaster recovery, as well as a flexible data migration solution for enterprise-class data centres.

"We believe these are almost a new category of products," Alesso said.