NetApp Taps QLogic Switches

Network Appliance has added QLogic Fibre Channel switches to its product arsenal, an interesting pairing of SAN upstarts.

NetApp, long the NAS champ, has been moving into the SAN space in recent months. And QLogic’s storage switch ambitions have gotten a boost from the recent merger of Brocade and McData.

According to Dell’Oro Group, Cisco and QLogic were the only Fibre Channel switch vendors gaining market share in the fourth quarter, as Brocade and McData both lost share. Cisco’s market share gained four percentage points from the third quarter, rising to 28.3 percent. Brocade slipped a point to 48.4 percent and McData lost more than three points to 19.9 percent, according to the research firm. QLogic increased share from 3.1 percent to 3.4 percent in the fourth quarter.

NetApp now offers the QLogic SANbox 9000 Core and SANbox 5600 Stackable series of switches, in addition to switches from Brocade and Cisco.

Frank Berry, QLogic’s vice president of corporate marketing, said the company’s channel sales are “going great,” growing at 50 percent clip, while the box business is growing “at double-digits year-over-year, but we need to grow faster.” The company has switch deals with Sun, EMC and NetApp, edge and blade server switch deals with HP and IBM, and a blade deal with Dell.

NetApp, meanwhile, has seen its SAN market share go from zero to 2.5 percent in less than a year.

NetApp said the combination of its FAS systems with QLogic switches and host bus adapters (HBAs) offer a comprehensive solution for business continuity, application performance and uptime, scalability and interoperability.

QLogic bills the SANbox 9000 as “a new class of core switch that takes less rack space, power and cooling than any director switch available today.” The 5600 Series is a stackable switch featuring 4Gb and 10Gb Fibre Channel ports and modular scalability.

“Together with QLogic, we are helping drive the 4Gb Fibre Channel market and provide enterprises with storage solutions that simplify data management, improve productivity and lower cost of ownership,” said Patrick Rogers, NetApp’s vice president of products and partners.

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