The Virtualization Room

Sep 9 2008   9:09AM GMT

Neterion 10 GbE NIC card users: Get guaranteed bandwidth

Alex Barrett Alex Barrett Profile: Alex Barrett

Do you use Neterion 10-gigabit Ethernet network interface cards (NIC) in your virtualized servers? If so, you may want to download the latest drivers, because the company has added support for I/O quality of service (IOQoS) and workload prioritization to its firmware.

Even with the full 10 gigabits of bandwidth that 10 GbE cards provide, virtual machines on a server can suffer from poor I/O performance, said Ravi Chalaka, Neterion’s VP of marketing. That’s because without QoS features, I/O traffic is handled on a first-come, first-serve basis, which in turn puts important workloads on the same footing as less critical ones. Now, with support for IEEE 802.1 P and Q, as well as IETF’s IP Type of Server (ToS) standards, an administrator can set workload priority levels and assign minimum bandwidth levels.

Chalaka also stressed Neterion’s nonblocking design, which features 16 dedicated silicon channels for I/O traffic to travel across, rather than the single network processing unit (NPU) design of most 10GbE cards. This approach ensures true I/O isolation between workloads, Chalaka said.

The new IOQoS feature is available starting today across Neterion’s entire line of NICs, including the Xframe, Xframe II, Xframe e and the latest X3100. Support is limited to VMware ESX environments and will be demonstrated at VMworld next week at booth No. 648.

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