Agilent Technologies' New Low-profile IP Storage Adapter Boards Simplify the Storage of Computer Data

10/22/2002 - Agilent Technologies introduced new IP storage PCI adapter boards that enable manufacturers to simplify the delivery of block and file storage data over Ethernet networks. Agilent's new boards are the industry's first low-profile IP storage adapter boards that provide full iSCSI and TCP/IP offload support, making network attached storage (NAS) and storage area networks (SANs) easier to install, manage and service.

"With the iSCSI specification near completion, Agilent is delivering to its customers a quick time-to-market IP Storage board-level solution that provides high performance in a low profile form-factor," said Martin Scott, vice president and general manager of Agilent's Storage and Networking Division. "This is the first in a family of IP storage solutions that will include controllers, adapter boards, fiber optic transceivers, physical layer ICs and a roadmap scaling these products to 10 Gb/s."

The Agilent ANIC-2101A and ANIC-2103A 1 Gb/s low profile adapters are ideally suited for smaller 1U and 2U server chassis employed in high-density, rack-mount server environments. In addition to enterprise servers, the adapters were designed to be used in RAID (redundant array of independent disks) and JBOD (just a bunch of disks) solutions to source and store computer data.

The iSCSI protocol sends SCSI storage commands over an IP network, and is used on servers (initiators), storage devices (targets) and protocol gateways such as Ethernet switches and routers. The TCP/IP offload engine (TOE) is a technology embedded in the adapter board. Its job is to offload TCP/IP processing from the host microprocessor and operating system. Offloading TCP/IP processing to the adapter board reduces CPU overhead and network latency, while increasing system throughput. Some currently available adapters only provide a partial offload solution, which reduces system performance since the host must share processing with the TOE.

The Agilent ANIC-2101A is supplied with a full height bracket, and the ANIC-2103A offers a half height bracket. Both iSCSI adapter boards provide full TCP/IP offload support and are low profile, half-length PCI iSCSI adapters that offer 1 Gb/s, single-port, full duplex operation. They support initiator and target modes, and feature a proprietary embedded real-time operating system that is highly optimized for iSCSI and general networking performance. Both adapters are supplied with an RJ-45 copper connector, while an optional LC optical connector will also be available. The Agilent adapters support the 32/64-bit, 33/66 MHz PCI bus and comply with the IETF's (Internet Engineering Task Force) iSCSI specification to ensure stability and interoperability.

Agilent also offers a software development kit that, through its multi-level transport independent software architecture (TISA), provides an easy migration path from Fibre Channel to iSCSI. The TISA architecture provides developers of Fibre Channel and iSCSI products a high-level API for rapid time-to-market, code reuse and portability, as well as a low-level API for high value-added applications requiring modifications to the policy level. The software development kit includes documentation, source code and reference initiator and target drivers for multiple operating systems.

U.S. Pricing and Availability
The Agilent ANIC-2101A adapter and the Agilent ANIC-2103A adapter are currently sampling to select storage networking customers, with general availability expected in January 2003. Both products are priced at approximately $850 in volume quantities.

Agilent Storage Networking Solutions
Agilent is a leading supplier of 1 and 2 Gb/s Fibre Channel solutions for the high-performance, enterprise-class SAN market, and is also a world leader in fiber optics and ICs for the Ethernet market. Agilent provides industry-leading Tachyon Fibre Channel controllers, InfiniBand switch ICs, fiber optics, physical layer ICs, and integrated Fibre Channel and iSCSI adapter boards. Agilent also offers test and measurement solutions.

About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is a global technology leader in communications, electronics and life sciences. The company's 37,000 employees serve customers in more than 120 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $8.4 billion in fiscal year 2001.

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