NetApp Partners with QLogic to Deliver Industry First

The following article has been provided by our partner, Keith Burnett, Director, OEM Business Development, QLogic Corporation.


NetApp, in partnership with QLogic, has launched the industry’s first storage platforms with ports that support heterogeneous protocol connectivity for both block and file-based storage. These platforms provide end-users with flexible options for deploying storage solutions by allowing for field firmware upgrades to change between storage protocol personalities at the port level. Support for this  functionality is standard within the new unified target adapter 2, or UTA2. The UTA2 provides NetApp FAS storage systems with protocol personalities support for 10Gb Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), 10Gb Ethernet (10GbE), and 16Gb Gen 5 Fibre Channel connectivity.

The new FAS8000 utilizes QLogic® technology to provide heterogeneous storage networking connectivity to support block, CIFS or NFS file structures. The UTA2 offers an upgrade path to the same functionality for the NetApp FAS3200 and FAS6200 series storage systems. The new I/O capability is based on the latest QLogic FlexSuite TM technology and delivers superior bandwidth and I/O performance compared to previous solutions and provides NetApp customers with the ultimate in performance, flexibility and efficiency. NetApp customers can now connect the FAS3200, FAS6200 or FAS8000 to host systems via Fibre Channel, FCoE or Ethernet and allow future migration paths to alternative I/O options.  


UTA2 is a next-generation interconnect for NetApp FAS and V-Series storage systems. The unique ASIC design, based on QLogic FlexSuite technology, provides both 10Gb converged Ethernet and Gen 5 Fibre Channel connectivity. The storage protocol personality can be changed at the port level via a firmware update. The update can be done in the field with no need to remove hardware from the storage system.  All that is required to change protocols for a FAS storage system with UTA2 is to update the firmware, change the optics and restart the controller.


The latest generation ASIC design from QLogic deployed in the UTA2 provides NetApp customers with the versatility to handle any protocol and significant performance advantages compared to the previous UTA ASIC. Using QLogic technology doubles Fibre Channel bandwidth compared to previous Fibre Channel versions and the Ethernet performance is increased up to 90 percent compared to the first-generation ASIC used in the first gen UTA adapter. This means NetApp customers deploying the UTA2 will have faster access to the storage device, regardless of the protocol used, when compared to the previous offering.


For NetApp customers deploying MetroCluster software with FAS3200, FAS6200 or FAS8000 Series arrays, the improved bandwidth performance for the UTA2 enhances this solution as well. With a faster I/O connection, more data can be transferred across the MetroCluster environment in a shorter time. This results in better overall application performance and an increase in response times.


Bottom line, if you are looking for faster responses to data from your databases and applications, more flexibility to your infrastructure deployments, and better efficiency in your storage system, you need not look any further than the FAS3200, FAS6200 or FAS8000 series storage systems with UTA2 from NetApp.  You can build the data center of tomorrow today by combining the technology from industry leaders like NetApp and QLogic.