Storage Soup

Nov 21 2008   3:54PM GMT

10GigE still seeking killer app

Dave Raffo Dave Raffo Profile: Dave Raffo

Although proponents of 10 Gigabit Ethernet point to virtual servers, iSCSI, and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) as reasons it will catch on in storage, it has yet to do so.

But vendors continue to build out the infrastructure in hopes of making 2009 – or 2010 at the latest – the year of 10 GigE.

Hewlett-Packard this week rolled out a Virtual Connect Flex-10 module that connects HP blade servers to shared MSA2000 SAS enclosures (HP also has a Virtual Connect 4Gb FC module). The Flex-10 module divides capacity of a 10 GigE port into four connections, and lets customers assign different bandwidth requirements to each connection instead of having to use multiple NIC cards for virtual servers.

“Flex 10 makes 10-gig useful,” said Mark Potter, vice president and general manager for HP BladeSystem. “This makes 10-gig to the server dramatically efficient and will help 10-gig take off on a rapid ramp.”

Alacritech this week announced 10GbE Scalable Network Accelerators (SNAs) that combine a NIC with a TCP/IP offload engine (TOE) on one card. Alacritech positions the card as a way to alleviate performance bottlenecks and make it feasible to run 10 GigE storage devices. The cards will be available in early 2009.

There have been other 10 GigE storage offerings in recent weeks. Woven Systems, trying to make a play as an Ethernet data center switch provider, released a EFX 5000 core switch to go with its backbone and top of rack switches. Woven also released a 10 Gigabit Ethernet Fabric Manager application to monitor multi-path fabric utilization, and measure latency and jitter.

InfiniBand chip maker Mellanox Technologies rolled out a ConnectX ENt 10 GigE chip that can power storage systems using FCoE and Data Center Ethernet.

Stephen Foskett, director of data practice for storage consultant Contoural, says FCoE is driving interest in 10 GigE among storage admins he talks to.

“There’s a lot more interest in 10-gig from people interested in FCoE and the converged network concept,” he said. “For FCoE, they need something faster than 4-gig [FC] and something with a roadmap past 8-gig [FC].”

Foskett says 10-GigE will catch on soon for iSCSI, so much that “I would be shocked if in three years we dind’t have most iSCSI traffic on 10-gig.” And that will drive 10-gig TOE card adoption.

“If you’re going to use 10-gig, you’re really going to want an offload engine,” he says. “There’s not much support out there for offload engines in general, and that’s a hurdle that really has to be cleared before people start investing in 10-gig.”

2  Comments on this Post

 
There was an error processing your information. Please try again later.
Thanks. We'll let you know when a new response is added.
Send me notifications when other members comment.

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
  • Dave Raffo
    Let's not forget that FCOE isn't being designed for 10Gig Ethernet but for the new, improved, only so far available from Cisco new and improved data center Ethernet with per process pause and features to make it lossless. So anyone buying today's 10Gig switches for FCOE will be in a world of hurt.
    0 pointsBadges:
    report
  • Dave Raffo
    We use 10GBE for disk to disk backup from an IBM system i (AS/400) to a PC server. This is several times faster than LTO3.
    0 pointsBadges:
    report

Forgot Password

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an e-mail containing your password.

Your password has been sent to: