ESG Lab Validation Report

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  • Lab Validation Report QLogic 2600 Series 16G Gen 5 Fibre Channel Adapter with Brocade Fabric

    Designed to Simplify Deployment and Increase Performance in the Data Center with Application-aware Services

    By Tony Palmer, Senior Lab Analyst

    August 2015 2015 by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

  • Lab Validation: QLogic 2600 Series 16G Gen 5 Fibre Channel Adapter 2

    2015 by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

    Contents

    Introduction .................................................................................................................................................. 3 Background ............................................................................................................................................................... 3 QLogic 2600 Series .................................................................................................................................................... 4

    ESG Lab Validation ........................................................................................................................................ 6 Simplified Deployment and Management ............................................................................................................... 6 Reliability and Cost of Operations .......................................................................................................................... 10 Performance and Scalability ................................................................................................................................... 14

    ESG Lab Validation Highlights ..................................................................................................................... 19

    Issues to Consider ....................................................................................................................................... 19

    The Bigger Truth ......................................................................................................................................... 20

    Appendix ..................................................................................................................................................... 21

    All trademark names are property of their respective companies. Information contained in this publication has been obtained by sources The Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) considers to be reliable but is not warranted by ESG. This publication may contain opinions of ESG, which are subject to change from time to time. This publication is copyrighted by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. Any reproduction or redistribution of this publication, in whole or in part, whether in hard-copy format, electronically, or otherwise to persons not authorized to receive it, without the express consent of The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc., is in violation of U.S. copyright law and will be subject to an action for civil damages and, if applicable, criminal prosecution. Should you have any questions, please contact ESG Client Relations at 508.482.0188.

    ESG Lab Reports

    The goal of ESG Lab reports is to educate IT professionals about data center technology products for companies of all types and sizes. ESG Lab reports are not meant to replace the evaluation process that should be conducted before making purchasing decisions, but rather to provide insight into these emerging technologies. Our objective is to go over some of the more valuable feature/functions of products, show how they can be used to solve real customer problems and identify any areas needing improvement. ESG Lab's expert third-party perspective is based on our own hands-on testing as well as on interviews with customers who use these products in production environments. This ESG Lab report was sponsored by QLogic.

  • Lab Validation: QLogic 2600 Series 16G Gen 5 Fibre Channel Adapter 3

    2015 by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

    Introduction

    ESG Lab recently tested the QLogic 2600 Series 16G Gen 5 Fibre Channel Adapter with a goal of validating how QLogic technology can be used to reduce data center complexity by enabling a storage network infrastructure that supports fabric pre-provisioning, powerful virtualization features, granular quality of service (QoS), and simplified management leveraging key integration points with Brocade Fabric. QLogic has long been recognized as a market leader in Fibre Channel host bus adapters.

    Background

    ESG recently asked 601 IT professionals and managers to identify their most important considerations in justifying IT investments, and more than one-third (36%) flagged return on investment, while nearly as many (35%) indicated business process improvement and 30% cited reducing operational expenditures, as shown in Figure 1.1 The continuing usage of ROI as a metric for IT investment validation nearly mirrors the pattern of organizations purchasing technologies with improved ROI as a means of cost mitigation, cited by 33% of organizations in the same report. Increasing the use of server virtualization was cited by 25% of respondents in the same survey as one of their most important IT priorities over the next 12 months.

    Figure 1. Most Important Considerations in Justifying IT Investments in 2015

    Source: Enterprise Strategy Group, 2015.

    Clearly, IT organizations are looking for ways to optimize the efficiency of their infrastructure, extracting as much value as possible from the technology they implement. In the enterprise, where Fibre Channel (FC) continues to be widely deployed in support of densely populated virtual servers, solid-state arrays, and high performance applications, finding ways to simplify deployment, management and day-to-day processes is critical.

    1 Source: ESG Research Report, 2015 IT Spending Intentions Survey, February 2015.

    17%

    18%

    22%

    27%

    30%

    35%

    36%

    40%

    0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50%

    Speed of payback

    Reduced time-to-market for our products or services

    Reduction in capital expenditures (i.e., purchases of equipment andother fixed assets)

    Improved regulatory compliance

    Reduction in operational expenditures (i.e., labor, utilities, materialsand other ongoing costs associated with operating an application,

    system, or business process)

    Business process improvement

    Return on investment

    Improved security/risk management

    Which of the following considerations do you believe will be most important in justifying IT investments to your organizations business management team over the next 12

    months? (Percent of respondents, N=601, three responses accepted)

    http://www.qlogic.com/http://www.brocade.com/http://www.esg-global.com/research-reports/2015-it-spending-intentions-survey/

  • Lab Validation: QLogic 2600 Series 16G Gen 5 Fibre Channel Adapter 4

    2015 by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

    QLogic 2600 Series

    The QLogic 2600 Series is an enterprise-class Gen 5 Fibre Channel host bus adapter (HBA) that delivers up to 16Gbps per port for high performance storage area network (SAN) applications. It is designed with optimized support for server virtualization technology and simplified deployment and management capabilities in mind. The 2600 Series is available with single or dual ports (models QLE2670 and QLE2672 respectively) and both are low profile cards that utilize the PCI Express Gen 3 bus. The small form factor enables efficient operation with low power requirements and heat dissipation. The QLogic QConvergeConsole application features a cross-platform design that provides centralized management of all QLogic HBAs, enabling IT administrators to manage a multi-generation storage network with one tool for greater simplicity. Management and control of QLogic HBAs are integrated with Brocade management tools, including Brocade Network Advisor. In addition, QLogic supports all major APIs for deployment flexibility and integration with third-party management tools, including VMware vCenter.

    Figure 2. QLogic 2600 Series Gen 5 Fibre Channel Adapter Port Isolation Architecture

    Key QLogic 2600 Series features include:

    Support for Gen 5 Fibre Channel 16G, 8G, and 4G devices. Up to 1.2 million IOPS and 16Gbps per port maximum throughput for high bandwidth storage (SAN) traffic

    with reduced latency designed to support critical transactional applications and virtualized environments. Engineered for virtualization, with support for industry standard N_Port ID Virtualization (NPIV), and Virtual

    Fibre Channel (vFC) for increased scalability and performance. QLogic Port Isolation Architecture (see Figure 2) features a single ASIC design and each port has a dedicated

    processor, memory, and firmware to ensure performance, security, and availability. Common drivers, which enable a single driver to support all QLogic HBAs on any supported OS. Integration with Brocade fabrics delivers advanced capabilities that are enabled when deployed with

    supported Brocade Gen 5 switches.

  • Lab Validation: QLogic 2600 Series 16G Gen 5 Fibre Channel Adapter 5

    2015 by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

    QLogic Integration with Brocade Fabric

    QLogic 2600 series Gen 5 HBAs have several key integration points with Brocade Gen 5 fabrics that are designed to enhance reliability and reduce cost of ownership, accelerate and simplify deployment, increase performance and scalability, all while simplifying management

    Key capabilities enabled by deploying Gen 5 QLogic and Brocade solution

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