Sunday, January 25, 2009

10Gig Ethernet Card

Just got some stuffs while doing research for new 10Gb card installation, which we have purchased for our NetApp V6080 file.

"Be careful not to get lured in by marketing fluff such as TOE (TCP Offload Engine), iWARP (Internet Wide Area RDMA Protocol), CFE (Congestion Free Ethernet), and Unified Wire, are all marketing features whose value is negligible or unproven in the market. TOEs had some measurable value in dual-core, dual-socket servers, but that's since been erased by improved stateless offloads and the move to quad-core, dual socket systems. iWARP is essentially the third attempt by Intel to make their Virtual Interface Architecture (VIA), also known as Infiniband, viable in the market, only this time on Ethernet. Infiniband continues to be hard to implement, one need only look at the 80+ papers published by researchers trying to get it working to know that iWARP is heading down a hazardous path. NetEffect was the market leader in iWarp NICs and they went bankrupt in August 2008, because iWarp hadn't gained any traction in the market. Congestion Free Ethernet (CFE) is the most interesting in that it assumes most people don't know that 10GbE by design has eliminated collisions and employed measures to enable switches to apply back pressure on NICs to reduce congestion and packet loss. So CFE is a fancy marketing term for what you're already getting from everyone, but with a subtle twist. Next we have Unified Wire, the ability to move both data and storagetraffic over the same TCP/IP network with "no changes to software," another wild marketing claim. Storage traffic will eventually all travel over Ethernet, it's inevitable, but it will be via a network file system or Fiber Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) and software changes will be required. Please remember, when evaluating a 10GbE NIC remember to focus on the performance with YOUR applications, price and the physical media (CX4 or fiber), that's all that matters. Consider doing a bake-off."

I would recommend anyone who is interested in 10Gb implementation to head over to this site as it is having some very good stuffs.