Thursday, May 31, 2007

Multiport Gigabit Ethernet adapters from Chelsio

A product release that escaped my notice: Chelsio released it multi port Gigabit Ethernet adapters last week, its first venture into the lucrative gigabit ethernet market. Chelsio now has the two-port S302E and S302X adapaters and the Quad port S304E adapters. Chelsio mentions in its press release that it will target the storage network and the servers market and will target the replacement of infiniband and fiber-channel technologies with Ethernet.

This is an interesting and ambitious ploy, given the dominance of fiber channel in storage networks. I am not convinced that Gigabit Ethernet is a good technology for these markets in the long run, Chelsio's venture seems to be more to have some product base in this market. Moreover the cards are priced high at $795 and $1495 for the two-port and quad ports respectively. They come with Chelsio's standard TCP/IP offload and RDMA offload technologies, which again I am not convinced is required for Gigabit Ethernet.

I am also quite dissapointed at the lack of ingenuity by Chelsio, two-port and quad-port Ethernet adapters are already available from Sun Microsystems (Sun's product line in this area is available here). Using the same chipset technology but replacing a 10 Gig port by a few 1 Gigs certainly doesn't seem novel enough. Market timing seems to be poor since competitors like Sun already have a much cheaper version of these cards.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Hitron-Sumitomo team to provide EPON products to Chunghwa Telecom

Taiwan based Hitron and Japan based Sumitomo electric will jointly supply Chungwa Telecom of Taiwan with EPON OLT and ONU products. The deal is expected to total NT$130 million (US$3.9 million). Impressive budget for EPON deployment in Taiwan.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Broadband releases technology to increase range of ethernet

Lightreading reported that Broadcom today announced its eight-port octal physical layer (PHY) device that extends the reach of Ethernet over twisted pair cables. The new 65 nanometer CMOS octal PHY, featuring Broadcom BroadR-Reach will provide added flexibility to standard Ethernet cables by enabling 10/100 Ethernet to operate up to 500 meters on one, two or four wire pairs of Category 5 (CAT 5) or telephony grade cabling, and 1 Gig Ethernet to a distance of 100 metres. This technology will be demonstrated at Interop 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Mellanox releases 10 Gig Ethernet Card

Yet another manufacturer of Infiniband technologies is now targeting the 10 Gig Ethernet adapter space. Mellanox today announced its 10 Gig Ethernet adapter. It features are not very different from others in the market: it supports multi-core chips, and mentions that it attempts to target the virtualization space. Mellanox also mentioned today that it has shipped over 2 million Infiniband ports. It is interesting to find many infiniband manufacturers releasing ethernet adapters.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Broadcom releases its 10 Gig cards

Broadcom today released its own 10 Gig Ethernet NIC, supporting Microsoft's Windows TCP chimney engine, iSCSI block storage and remote direct memory access (RDMA) on-chip. It is interesting to see so many players in the 10 Gig Ethernet NIC market now, while the size of the market is still small and uncertain. I will try to come up with a comparison of major 10 Gig Ethernet NIc cards and their features in the next post.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Intransa launches 10 Gig E SAN

Intransa today announced the launch of 10 Gig Ethernet based StorStac Storage System PCU100 SAN. Neterion's 10 Gig adapters will be used by Intransa. Something very relevant to my research work and past discussions in this forum:

Douglas F. Gibbs, PhD, pathology bioinformatics manager at The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, who tested an Intransa StorStac System 10GbE PCU100 configuration during the beta trials mentioned, “Many of our initial test scenarios revealed that factors other than the Intransa system were rate-limiting in the tests. It will take some catch-up on the part of OS, software and hardware vendors to take full advantage of the 10 GbE speed,” Its great to see more recognition in CPU and OS bottlenecks to deliver the I/O required from 10 Gig E networks.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Teknovus's chipsets to used as benchmark by China Telecom

According to a Teknovus press release, FiberHome's FTTH solution using Teknovus' EPON chipsets will be used as a benchmark by China Telecom to evaluate other EPON systems and solutions. FiberHome already has deployments in several provinces in China, Teknovus' aggressive strategy in China seems to be paying off, and more widespread EPON deployments could help drive huge volumes for Teknovus' EPON silicon.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Nice research paper regarding performance issues in networking

An excellent paper by Wenji Wu, Matt Crawford and Mark Bowden of Fermi Labs, DOE, titled "The Performance Analysis of Linux Networking – Packet Receiving" is available here.

The authors trace the delivery of a packet from the Network Interface Card to the Application Layer consuming the packet, in the Linux protocol stack. They discuss the operating systems subtelities involved in this entire process and demonstrate the challanges in delivering high network throughput to the application layer. Experimental results discuss the impact of changing some parameters such as the number of packet descriptors to improve network performance. Must read for those interested in high-speed network performance issues.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Update on Ethernet Expo

LightReading has an article here about the ongoing Ethernet Expo. The article mentions comments about Provider Backbone Transport (PBT) technology including new releases from Extreme Networks. The article also mentions that Hatteras has a new customer -- Mila, the recently spun-off wholesale division of Iceland's incumbent operator, Comments invited from attendees at Ethernet Expo about interesting products.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Teak Technologies 10 Gig Congestion Free Ethernet Switch

Teak Technologies previewed its pioneering 10 Gig Congestion-Free Ethernet (CFE) switching solution today. The idea mentioned here is to have Ethernet switches collaborate with each other and thereby respond reactively to congestion events rather than perform individually in isolated islands. They mention that the average end-to-end goodput is much better than current 10 Gig Ethernet switches. I am not very sure how this "collaborative technology" works, and no details are available on their website. Comments invited on how this technology works.

Moreover, Neterion announced today that they will partner with Teak Technologies, and provide them with ASIC to deliver an integrated solution to IBM's Blade Centers as part of the effort.