Brocade Answers Your Questions

Vendor spokesmen respond to queries on adaptive networking

May 16, 2008

2 Min Read
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After Brocade announced so-called "adaptive networking" for its HBAs earlier this week, at least one inquiring mind was spurred to question a few details of the announcement. Following are the unedited responses we got from Brocade experts via email after passing the queries along:

Question: Does the Brocade HBA have application-specific bandwidth distribution on the FC-3 level?

Brocade director of product marketing Herman Chao: Application-specific bandwidth is maintained across the entire FC stack with Brocade adaptive networking technology that dedicates independent hardware resources through virtual channels to applications.

Question: Do high-end servers produce enough data to fill the 8G I/O pipe?

Chao: Yes, there are high-end servers that can produce enough data to fill an 8G I/O pipe for particular applications, such as video editing or storage back-up transfers from a single server to multiple storage arrays. Consolidation of applications on virtualized servers will also continue to drive performance demands for HBAs.Question: How does Brocades solution improve on integral Fibre Channel capabilities to handle congestion?

Brocade director of product marketing Mario Blandini: Starting with 2-Gbit/s Fibre Channel, Brocade has offered enhanced capabilities in performance using virtual channels, built into Brocade ASICs.

Virtual channels enable traffic separation and classification within a single physical connection, which historically has prevented head of line blocking and also guaranteed management traffic not be delayed in the event of congestion. With QoS in the latest products, virtual channels ensure that high priority traffic continues to flow if congestion occurs. Brocade’s 8-Gbit/s HBAs are based on Brocade’s ASIC technology, and thus have unique features above the FC standards, such as QoS leveraging virtual channels, and frame-based trunking of HBA ports to create a balanced 16-Gbit/s connection to fabric to aid in avoiding congestion.

Question: Does the Brocade 8-Gbit/s HBA have an SR-IOV [single-root I/O virtualization] support for VMware hypervisors? Is that what is meant by guaranteed service in virtualized environments?

Chao: SR-IOV will be supported by future Brocade HBAs; however it is not required for guaranteed service in virtualized environments. Guaranteed service is provided in virtualized environments with Brocade adaptive networking technology that can assign QoS level to specific virtual machines and applications.Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Byte and Switch's editors directly, send us a message.

  • Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD)

  • VMware Inc.0

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