Adaptec adds new ASICs to IP puzzle

Adaptec Inc. has stepped up its pro-IP storage campaign with the announcement of an OEM deal Tuesday and plans to announce Wednesday the availability of two new ASIC's (application specific integrated circuits) for IP storage environments.

Adaptec, in Milpitas, Calif. claims the ASIC's are a first for the storage networking industry that is pressing ahead to standardize on iSCSI technology to allow enterprises to transport data across IP-based wide area networks.

The company's Storage Protocol Accelerator (SPA) ASIC is designed for integration into iSCSI SAN environments and enables full TCP/IP offload, company executives report. Meanwhile, Adaptec's Storage Router Accelerator (SRA) ASIC allows IT managers to connect Fibre Channel SANs over Ethernet.

On the OEM front, Adaptec reports its agreement with Advanced Digital Information Corp. (ADIC) will see its Storage Protocol Accelerator integrated into ADIC's range of tape libraries and storage appliances.

Underpinning the products is the use of silicon technology in the chips, which a company executive explained enables internal processing speeds of 1GB and up to 10GB within a year.

Silicon is superior to any technology available in firmware, argues Ram Jayam, Adaptec's vice president and general manager of the Storage Networking Group. "To deploy iSCSI you need a silicon based solution," he said.

Jayam said enterprise customers are looking for iSCSI storage technology particularly in light of the September 11 attacks as they build remote data centers and establish disaster recovery sites requiring reliable data transport across wide area networks. "The financial industry is really anxiously waiting for IP-based storage," he said.

To that end, he claims backup solutions will be a significant driver for development of iSCSI storage and networking solutions. "You're going to see a volume of iSCSI adoption within the next three years," he said.

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