HBA Technology Accepted Into Linux Kernel

Emulex Corporation today announced its LightPulse Virtual Host Bus Adapter (HBA) driver is the first to be accepted into the Open Source Linux kernel. Emulex's LightPulse Virtual HBA technology will be integrated into the Linux 2.6.23 kernel this quarter and then become a standard part of the Linux kernel distribution.

"Emulex continues to lead the way in defining and implementing SAN connectivity for virtualized server environments," said Mike Smith, executive vice president of worldwide marketing, Emulex Corporation. "We are committed to bringing technology advancements to the Open Source Linux community and Emulex Virtual HBA technology provides breakthrough capabilities to optimize, control, tune and secure storage connections for virtual machines."

The Open Source process provides a highly recognized assurance of quality and long-term support for leading technologies such as innovative SAN connectivity solutions. Upstream kernel acceptance ensures a broad distribution of Emulex's LightPulse Virtual HBA technology and encourages the development of virtual HBA-based capabilities and value-added solutions. Current Emulex Open Source drivers already operate with Linux and Xen, enabling robust SAN connectivity in these environments.

Emulex LightPulse Virtual HBA technology contains key building blocks that enable customers to fully realize the benefits of server virtualization deployed in SAN environments, and also extend the value of fabric virtualization. Emulex's LightPulse Virtual HBA technology is supported on Emulex's family of 4Gb/s HBAs and incorporates support for two important industry-standards: N-Port ID Virtualization and Virtual Fabric.

Industry standard N-Port ID Virtualization (NPIV) allows administrators to effectively "virtualize" HBA functionality such that each virtual machine running on a server can have its private, protected and managed storage access, over a shared set of physical adapters. This enables administrators to leverage standard SAN management tools and best practices, such as fabric zoning and LUN mapping/masking, and enables the full use of fabric-based quality-of-service and accounting (charge-back) capabilities. It also provides the most efficient utilization of HBAs in the server while ensuring the highest level of data protection available in the industry.

In addition, Emulex HBAs also support the Virtual Fabric standard, which provides the ability to segment a SAN into many logical SANs, each with its own set of fabric services. This enables multiple SAN islands to be consolidated onto one larger physical SAN, while still maintaining the same logical topologies, fabric services and tools as prior to consolidation. This allows SAN infrastructure to be more efficiently utilized and the costs to be spread over more applications or users.

Emulex has taken a leadership position in connecting virtual servers to the fabric. Emulex partnered with IBM to develop NPIV and create the standard through the ANSI T11 standards committee, and was the first to provide NPIV enabled connectivity solutions for VMware's community source project, Microsoft Virtual Server and now, Open Source Linux, making Emulex's 4Gb/s LightPulse HBA driver the only NPIV-enabled driver accepted into the Open Source Linux upstream kernel. For more information about Emulex LightPulse Virtual HBA technology, visit