Frank Berry

Network Computing Blogger

Upcoming Events

Where the Cloud Touches Down: Simplifying Data Center Infrastructure Management

Thursday, July 25, 2013
10:00 AM PT/1:00 PM ET

In most data centers, DCIM rests on a shaky foundation of manual record keeping and scattered documentation. OpManager replaces data center documentation with a single repository for data, QRCodes for asset tracking, accurate 3D mapping of asset locations, and a configuration management database (CMDB). In this webcast, sponsored by ManageEngine, you will see how a real-world datacenter mapping stored in racktables gets imported into OpManager, which then provides a 3D visualization of where assets actually are. You'll also see how the QR Code generator helps you make the link between real assets and the monitoring world, and how the layered CMDB provides a single point of view for all your configuration data.

Register Now!

A Network Computing Webinar:
SDN First Steps

Thursday, August 8, 2013
11:00 AM PT / 2:00 PM ET

This webinar will help attendees understand the overall concept of SDN and its benefits, describe the different conceptual approaches to SDN, and examine the various technologies, both proprietary and open source, that are emerging. It will also help users decide whether SDN makes sense in their environment, and outline the first steps IT can take for testing SDN technologies.

Register Now!

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1 Million IOPS: A Small Step For Networks, A Giant Leap For Converged Network Adapters.

Today, Emulex announced that its OneConnect Universal Converged Network Adapters (UCNAs) doubled the performance of best-in-class 8Gb Fibre Channel HBAs and 10Gb Converged Network Adapters in side-by-side testing with competitive products from Broadcom, Brocade and QLogic. One of the standout statistics in the CNA performance test series was the 919,268 IOPS  generated by a single port of the Emulex's OCe10102 card during the FCoE IOPS run. Considering the OCe10102 has just come out of the chute into production, it's my expectation that fine tuning will eventually push the performance over 1,000,000 IOPS.

Every application places different demands on a storage subsystem with reads and writes of different sizes, but IOPS performance is a pretty good indicator of overall performance. For data center consolidation, the benefit of more CNA IOPS is that physical servers can support more VMware and Hyper-V virtual machines. Not long ago, you could expect to get around 160K small-transfer IOPS with a typical 4Gb Fibre Channel HBA. Today, best-in-class performance for an 8Gb Fibre Channel HBA is approximately 500,000 IOPS.  With almost double the performance of the fastest 8Gb Fibre Channel HBAs and 10Gb CNAs, this new generation of CNAs represents a huge leap in performance now available to administrators of IO-intensive applications and virtualized server environments.
The new benchmark for CNA performance is 900,000 IOPS and you can expect other vendors to deliver this class of performance in the future. Additionally, new Xeon servers need faster network connections. According to Intel, Xeon servers enable up to 9x higher performance per server over installed single-core servers. This class of ASIC performance is eventually going to effect the competition between Ethernet and Fibre Channel storage.  Ethernet / FCoE storage outfitted with this class of ASIC used in target mode will compete favorably with 8Gb Fibre Channel storage.

The bottom line is that  out of economic necessity, Enterprise IT is consolidating their data centers. Because you can consolidate more applications on fewer servers, Enterprise IT is deploying powerful new Intel Xeon servers with VMware or Hyper-V server virtualization software. Because more applications on fewer, powerful servers will create more I/O per server, Enterprise IT will have a preference for distinctly faster converged network adapters to make sure data can get in and out of their servers. At the moment, in a crowded market for standards-based CNAs, Emulex stands out with a solution for an Enterprise IT problem that can't be matched.

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