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Enterprise Computing: Is It The End for Independent HBA Vendors?

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emulexIn a rollercoaster week for the storage industry, Broadcom have made an unsolicited offer to acquire Emulex at $9.25 a share.  Read the press release here.  Now this, the VMware announcement, Cisco’s UCS and EMC’s new V-Max array got me thinking.  Is there any future for independent HBA vendors?

It goes like this; fibre channel is allegedly on the way out.  The future is iSCSI, NAS and FCoE, all using IP/Ethernet.  Hardware is getting more and more integrated into server chasses.  In addition, Gigabit Ethernet is already cheap as chips and 10 Gig Ethernet is getting cheaper by the day.

If all that is true then $1200 HBA or CNA cards are a thing of the past as server vendors will simply integrate the technology directly into the hardware.  Perhaps the only future business model is for HBA vendors of today is to licence their ASIC technology for embedded devices and maybe that’s where Broadcom see their opportunity.

I wonder if Qlogic are being stalked.  Thoughts anybody?

About Chris M Evans

Chris M Evans has worked in the technology industry since 1987, starting as a systems programmer on the IBM mainframe platform, while retaining an interest in storage. After working abroad, he co-founded an Internet-based music distribution company during the .com era, returning to consultancy in the new millennium. In 2009 Chris co-founded Langton Blue Ltd (www.langtonblue.com), a boutique consultancy firm focused on delivering business benefit through efficient technology deployments. Chris writes a popular blog at http://blog.architecting.it, attends many conferences and invitation-only events and can be found providing regular industry contributions through Twitter (@chrismevans) and other social media outlets.
  • Chris Hoffman

    ESP (Embedded Storage Products) business unit of Emulex was the growth engine of the company…I’m sure that plays a large part in the opportunity Broadcom sees there.

  • Prasanna

    I was surprised to see the link you posted.
    After going thru the Emulex’s website, i got this link. Please go thru it

    http://cmw3wbp1.emulex.com/blog/?m=200904

  • Chris Evans

    Chris

    Yes, and now Emulex have kicked back the Broadcom offer. I wonder if anyone else will step in?

    Chris

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