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QLogic also decided to start with SLC-based flash storage technology that, while expensive, provides the best performance and reliability, Humphrey said. "eMLC technology is on the road map," he said. "We see this as an enterprise play, so we wanted the highest performance and durability we could get."
While the storage industry has seen a huge spike in the number of vendors developing flash-based caching technology, Humphrey said most solutions suffer from a need for complex deployment and from the fact that they are still relatively new offerings.
"The only thing we run in the host is the same Fibre Channel drivers that have been beaten up in the enterprise for years," he said. "Our business strategy has been to make the QLogic FabricCache 10000 adapter essentially a Fibre Channel adapter. So it's very nonintrusive and is targeting a large installed base dying for application acceleration."
For solution providers, QLogic is introducing an advanced program to help teach them how flash storage works and how it can be used to accelerate applications, Humphrey said.
The new program is available to Gold-level and Platinum-level partners in QLogic's Signature partner program that have both enterprise storage experience and deployment experience with enterprise applications such as Oracle and SAP, he said.
The new QLogic FabricCache 10000 adapter is slated to ship late this month.
Humphrey declined to discuss pricing, as the new FabricCache device prices will be set by the company's solution provider partners. However, he said, final pricing is expected to be very competitive with solutions that either require a host bus adapter, a PCIe flash card, and caching software.