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Emulex plans cloud HBA

Emulex has confirmed it is working on a new product called Emulex Enterprise Elastic Storage (E3S), which it describes as “a transparent method for connecting block storage to cloud storage providers like EMC Atmos.” 

EMC’er David Graham spilled the beans about the product in a blog post yesterday “Moving from Block to Cloud: Emulex E3S” based on conversations he had with the connectivity vendor at EMC World. (Hmm, could this be the “unannounced OEM deal” Emulex has accused Broadcom of trying to cash in on?)

According to Graham’s post, which an Emulex spokesperson confirmed this morning is accurate:

Your hosts continue to process data to their respective storage targets as usual and the Emulex E3S device acts like a traditional block storage target (SAS or FC disks). As blocks are written to the E3S virtual disks, the E3S software virtualizes the changed blocks and compresses, encrypts, and re-packages the data into your chosen cloud storage protocol (e.g. EMC Atmos). In this way, you’re able to maintain consistent copies of data both in your local datacenter as well as in your private cloud. This is all well and good but what about recovering your data? Using the same process of encapsulation, the Emulex E3S can retrieve your data from your private cloud, unpack the meta-data and extents and present the original SCSI block data back to your hosts, all using traditional SCSI semantics.

Graham declined comment about whether an OEM deal is in the works, but the product is listed on EMC’s Atmos partner page. Amazon also uses the term Elastic Block Store with its EC2 cloud, but that doesn’t appear directly related to E3S.

It also doesn’t look like the product is generally available yet. Rich Pappas, VP of marketing and business development, Embedded Storage Products for Emulex sent over the following statement in an email this morning to Storage Soup:

Emulex has developed E3S as a proof-of-concept design illustrating how block storage can be easily bridged to cloud storage environments. Market research has shown that the most likely application for this technology is within existing storage solutions and Emulex is discussing with its partners the viability of the product concepts and timing for market entry.

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