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NextIO and Neterion Collaborate to Develop Solutions for Multi-Root I/O Virtualization
Following todays announcement of completion of the I/O Virtualization (IOV) suite of specifications by the PCI-SIG®, the Special Interest Group responsible for the PCI Express® (PCIe) standard, NextIO and Neterion® have announced that they are working together to develop I/O virtualization hardware for the new PCI-SIG Multi-Root IOV (MR-IOV) standard. Both NextIO and Neterion have been active participants in developing the MR-IOV specification, recognizing that the benefits of distributed I/O where multiple systems can share one I/O card provide maximum flexibility with I/O virtualization. The adoption of these specifications will enable the most flexible I/O solutions for blade and rack servers. Other benefits include simplified management, lower hardware cost and lower R&D costs.

Our PCI-SIG SR-IOV and MR-IOV specifications provide a path to fully achieve high-performance virtualization right down to the I/O level, said Al Yanes, president and chairman, PCI-SIG. We are pleased that companies such as NextIO and Neterion are working to quickly deliver MR-IOV products to the marketplace.

In todays data centers I/O devices are typically fixed with a server. As a fixed resource, portability of I/O across servers is limited, management of I/O is complex and time consuming, and excess I/O has to be purchased to account for peak usage. With MR-IOV, I/O devices become a resource pool dynamically available to any server. As a resource pool, I/O is easily moved across physical servers, management is simplified, and I/O usage is optimized for the exact workload.

The Multi-Root IOV standard actually heralds the development of more platforms with more flexibility than ever before, leveraging the breadth of PCIe product adoption. With Multi-Root IOV, the PCI-SIG has extended its offering, making it possible to share I/O devices with multiple system images on various processing components such as server blades. As an open standard, MR-IOV will eliminate the solution tax paid with todays proprietary I/O sharing solutions, such as decreased I/O throughput and increased latency, and it will greatly simplify management. By increasing flexibility, the specification will also lower data center TCO and increase RAS (Reliability, Availability, Scalability) by requiring fewer redundant I/O adapters, cables, and associated external switch ports, while reducing power and cooling.

We are pleased that we were able to help shape the MR-IOV specification, and as a result, lead the industry in developing open, flexible MR-IOV solutions for expanding and sharing PCIe resources, said Chris Pettey, co-founder and CTO of NextIO. Partnerships with companies like Neterion, create product interoperability and ensure complete solutions become available to more markets - faster.

NextIO, a leader in the I/O Virtualization marketplace, recently announced the ExpressConnect family of products, the first family of ioGateway products for I/O Virtualization. ExpressConnect products are end-to-end connectivity solutions that leverage industry standard PCI Express technology. The ioGateway segment of the virtualization market is defined as products enabling seamless IO Virtualization (IOV) to all standard industry endpoints (or devices) using industry-standard drivers residing in either rack or blade form factors. The ioGateway is useful for both expanding data center capacity and optimizing server resources.

Neterion, the leader in the 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GbE) adapter market, provides solutions that deliver the industrys highest networking performance along with unique IOV capabilities. Neterion products are designed into mission-critical applications by the worlds leading server and storage vendors and offer unprecedented TCO savings while eliminating I/O bottlenecks in virtualized environments. Neterion has pioneered the development of 10 GbE IOV-based NICs since 2001 and is committed to delivering leading edge 10GbE solutions that enable the next generation of Data Center deployments.

We are glad to be working with NextIO to develop the next generation of I/O Virtualization products, said Greg Scherer, VP of Product Planning at Neterion. As a voting member of the PCI-SIG IOV work group, Neterion is pleased to contribute to the development of the MR-IOV specification and improving virtualization capabilities and performance in I/O technologies.

Published Wednesday, June 11, 2008 10:15 PM by David Marshall
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