I am very familiar with Coraid and their HBA offerings both 1G and 10G, but I don't have the budget for new equipment from an unknown at this time, but I am very interested in AoE and am currently testing it in Windows. I have installed vBlade on a few of my development Windows 2008r2 servers and am using the Starwind Windows AoE initiator to connect the those targets with good success, but I'd really like to test this with my Dev. vSphere Lab...where are the AoE Initiators/drivers for VMware? We are definitely in need of new SANs for our environment and I have researched the offerings from Coraid along with the other iSCSI vendors, but since AoE is still very much unknown I am having no luck generating any interest in a Single Source/Proprietary protocol appliance. What I really had hoped to accomplish with this test was to show that AoE is very much a viable alternative to the iSCSI offerings, and worthy of consideration as I really like the plug-n-play connectivity along with the self-aggregating of the bandwidth. I have installed the Coraid drivers on my ESXi 4.1 host but apparently these are for the Coraid HBA's only? as I have yet to be able to discover my vBlade targets. Hopefully I am just missing something in my early testing and not that there are just No AoE drivers for non-Coraid devices. Help.
There's very little to zero sense in whole AoE thing. "El cheapo" coraid gear is just a badge-engineered commodity x86 servers so you can throw away flash with their pseudo-firmare, install any open source storage solution doing iSCSI or NFS and seamlessly integrate everything into VMware infrastructure. I would personally stay away from any lock-in-a-vendor solution. IMHO of course.
P.S. No plans to port StarWind AoE Initiator to VMware ESXi because of the reasons above.