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QLogic: STIRRING A STORM IN THE NETWORKING INDUSTRY

Anamika Sahu
Friday, January 10, 2014
Anamika Sahu
A typical Monday morning comes clubbed with businesses pending over the weekend. In such a scenario, imagine an application service provider who provides innovative solutions to a wide range of enterprises that are currently trying to manage business growth. At the peak business hour, the company's website is over-flooded with unpredictable server workload leading the server to slow down. This is due to the storage and I/O performance bottlenecks that occurred at the server due to lack of I/O interconnect bandwidth such as an overloaded PCI interconnect, storage device contention, and lack of available storage system I/O capacity. The direct impact of data center I/O performance issues, that include general slowing of the systems and applications, results in a loss of valuable productivity and possibly profitability.

This is precisely what Payformance, an application service provider focusing on a proprietary web-based application, underwent. The company had a dramatic increase in customer demand which resulted in I/O bottlenecks that slowed the application response time. To overcome this, Payformance needed to upgrade its infrastructure while preserving service level agreements, speeding response time and cutting costs. Their concerns were eliminated by QLogic's Converged Network Adapters QLogic 8100 Series which deliver multiprotocol and traffic prioritization support for enterprise applications within a consolidated and virtualized service-oriented environment. The equipment increased the maximum throughput from 200MB to 1.5GB improving storage efficiency and helping Payformance to save 30-50 percent on network fabric costs. Furthermore, Payformance implemented data de-duplication to reduce data by 50 percent and eliminated the need to purchase additional disks saving upto $60,000 and extending useful life of existing storage arrays.

This is how QLogic (NASDAQ: QLGC) has been surprising their customers and helping OEMs like Cisco, Dell, EMC, HP, IBM, Oracle and others to address their customers' needs through, high performance storage I/O solutions. The company also serves small-to-medium sized businesses & large enterprises globally through a comprehensive network of channel partners, gaining their loyalty since their inception in 1992 after being spun off by Emulex. The company's original business was disk controllers but this division was sold to Marvel in 2005. Since then QLogic has crossed several milestones to introduce innovative products and become an acknowledged market leader of data, server and storage networking infrastructure solutions.

The Technology Breakthrough
QLogic understands the deeply rooted concerns affecting the performance of today's data centers where servers with more powerful multi-core processors are running more virtual servers and require fatter pipes to access the ever increasing amount of data. The problem today is compounding as legacy mechanical storage cannot keep up with the increasing demands applications have for data, thus creating an I/O performance gap. Flash and solid state drives help to address the limitations of legacy mechanical storage and the I/O performance gap by caching frequently accessed hot data on SSDs and placing critical data closer to the applications. However, these solutions are limited in many ways. First, server captive cached data cannot be shared so it cannot accelerate the vast number of applications that are often virtualized in clustered and require highly available shared data on the SAN.

Another problem that is associated with these solutions is the added complexities of additional drivers and software that sit in the virtual servers that are non-transparent and introduce OS and applications dependencies. This is especially painful in an environment that has a growing number of virtual servers running I/O intensive business critical applications. To solve the captive cache, clustering and server virtualization issues, QLogic engineers integrated three functionalities; acceleration, caching and storage connectivity transparently into the server by introducing the QLE10000 storage adapter which is based on the innovative Mount Rainier technology. This unique solution reduces cost and complexity, and increases cache efficiency by allowing support for clustered applications without disrupting or any changes to the existing infrastructure.

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