SMC Networks (www.smc.com) today announced that its 10Gigabit fiber and copper adapters for 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) server connections now have the added benefit of offering virtualization acceleration. The industry-first 10GbE adapters not only excel at performance, but also thermal management, standards-compliance and affordability: now the SMC10GPCIe-10BT 10GBASE-T server adapter and the SMC10GPCIe-XFP 10GbE optical server adapter both benefit from a driver set that incorporates virtualization acceleration software that accelerates network traffic in virtualized environments.
SMC Networks will demonstrate its full line of products at Interop Las Vegas 2008, April 28-May 2, in their booth 1083 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.
“Virtualization is the new wave – and it’s a tidal wave! And since virtualization is all about getting the most from servers, the network shouldn’t prevent that from happening,” said SMC Networks’ Product Manager, Moon Kang. “When IT managers consolidate servers, bandwidth gets consolidated as well. The bandwidth to the applications running on those servers will be bottlenecked, even when running multiple Gigabit Ethernet connections. At one Gigabit, there’s no issue, but when you go for the speed and bandwidth of 10GbE on systems where virtualization is in use, the network can become the bottleneck, holding performance to two or three Gigabits per second, for example, in a system with just three virtual machines loaded.”
“SMC has introduced virtualization acceleration technology built-in to hardware and software drivers for our 10GbE adapters—and ours are the only 10GbE adapters with this advantage,” added Kang. “Our acceleration technology allows for transmit and receive traffic that’s constrained to two or three Gigabits per second with other adapters, achieve line rate performance exceeding nine Gigabits per second, making virtualized servers more efficient and, effective.”
Virtualization is gaining popularity quickly for multiple reasons. Recent trends show that virtualization is not only for the enterprise, but that virtualed computing is extending ‘downstream’ due to the efficiencies that it offers. Most servers are using just 10-15% of their full potential computing power, but still require 65-75% of their power consumption. Multiply this by the number of servers in the data center and the waste compounds. Virtualization can allow a server to achieve 50% of its computing potential with a bump of just 10% in power needs, to 85%.
“The savings potential from virtualization is huge: most notably, capital equipment expenditure is reduced because you need fewer servers when each is used to its full potential,” offers Kang. “And, when you have fewer servers doing the work, the energy savings can be significant, due to direct server power savings and to reduced cooling costs. Furthermore, less equipment means less valuable space dedicated to it—a smaller, efficient, and agile data center with scalability.”
Even as the server is optimized by virtualization and gets busier, the network gets busier,” said Kang. “There’s not enough gain to justify going to 10GbE if all you realize from that is 2G, and that’s why we see the acceleration technology offered with our 10G as essential for today’s heavily virtualized server environments.”
SMC Networks began shipping 10GbE server adapters, including the industry’s first standards-compliant 10GBASE-T server adapters, in late 2007. In addition to incorporating virtualization acceleration, they incorporate driver software for Citrix XenServer™, the upcoming Microsoft Hyper-V™, and other leading Virtualization Platforms. Several other key architectural features of SMC’s new family of 10GbE Adapters separate them from the rest of the pack as well: cut-through architecture for the lowest latency Ethernet solution on the market; virtualization of the host interface; and VNIC, for the cleanest, most efficient acceleration of I/O in virtualized operating system deployments. Also, all of SMC’s 10GbE adapters run on a high speed x8 PCI Express serial interconnect and, in line with SMC’s commitment to flexibility, all of SMC Networks’ 10GbE adapters are half-height, with brackets for half- or full-height installation
SMC Networks’ 10GbE adapters, the SMC10GPCIe-10BT 10GBASE-T server adapter (MSRP $1299) and the SMC10GPCIe-XFP 10GbE optical server adapter (MSRP $799) have been available since late last year. The virtualization acceleration technology is incorporated into the driver that is now shipping with products; it is also available for download, free of charge, for those SMC Networks 10GbE adapters purchased prior to its inclusion in the driver.
The only vendor with the full range of 10GBASE-T and 10GbE Fiber solutions—from switch to NIC—SMC Networks’ extensive product range lets companies plan deployments that maximize network performance at acceptable cost levels so that the strength of 10GbE can be part of any overall Ethernet strategy. For more information about SMC Networks, the company’s solutions for 10GbE and for 10/100/1000 networking, or others in SMC’s robust catalog of networking products, visit www.smc.com, or call 800-SMC-4YOU (800-762-4968).