Virtualization Technology News and Information
Emulex Delivers Next-Generation 10Gb Ethernet Virtual Fabric Adapters for IBM BladeCenter

Emulex Corporation, the leader in converged networking solutions, today announced two new adapters based on its new second generation Emulex Virtual Fabric Adapter (VFA) technology, which have been selected for IBM BladeCenter systems. The Emulex Virtual Fabric Adapter II for IBM BladeCenter provides 10Gb Ethernet (10GbE) Network Interface Card (NIC) connectivity with the ability to future-proof systems with upgrade options to add Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) and iSCSI protocol support at any time. Second, the Emulex Virtual Fabric Adapter Advanced II for IBM BladeCenter comes with FCoE and iSCSI included. IBM and Emulex co-developed the VFA technology for BladeCenter, and each of these cards is able to support exclusive virtual NIC (vNIC) functionality that optimizes network performance, scalability and flexibility for virtualized servers when combined with IBM's switching modules.

"Emulex's second generation 10GbE VFAs enable IT managers to support 20 percent more virtual machines (VMs) per server, lower capital cost by up to 50 percent, reduce OPEX by 49 percent and reduce cable counts by up to 86 percent," said Shaun Walsh, vice president of marketing, Emulex. "This announcement demonstrates how IBM and Emulex are leading the market in providing complete, integrated and open network convergence solutions for 10GbE with IP, iSCSI and FCoE across the broad range of IBM solutions available today, including BladeCenter, System X and Power."

Emulex 10GbE VFAs for IBM BladeCenter, which are based on Emulex's next-generation OneConnect Universal Converged Network Adapter (UCNA) architecture, include unique features exclusive to IBM switches and Emulex adapters, such as:

  • Simplified Management: with dynamic configuration of vNIC and protocols without system reboot
  • Optimized Performance for Service Level Agreements (SLAs): with bidirectional bandwidth management that match performance to application usage
  • Improved Virtualization: with automatic point to point virtual LAN (vLAN) configurations that provide more scalable VM support

The Emulex 10GbE VFA for IBM BladeCenter leverages Emulex's next-generation, single-chip, dual-port 10GbE OneConnect UCNA technology which allows network and storage resources to be divided into multiple hardware-isolated and protected virtual network and virtual storage interfaces. Emulex next-generation OneConnect technology also enables:

  • Scalable I/O: Single Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV) allows PCIe devices to appear as multiple virtual devices that can optimize I/O performance by providing direct I/O for VMs.
  • Faster I/O Offload: Emulex OneConnect UCNAs leverage Emulex vEngine technology for full protocol offload support which removes the overhead of network and storage traffic from the CPU.
  • Greener I/O with 20% Less Power: Emulex OneConnect UCNAs have increased integration and reductions in external components, providing a 20% improvement in power efficiency over previous versions with no loss in performance.
  • Manageable I/O with Emulex OneCommand Manager: By sharing a single driver model, Emulex I/O solutions can be controlled, configured and managed from a single console and can be fully integrated into IBM management systems. Consolidated management capabilities enable enterprise scalability with time-saving features that provide more than twice the management capabilities in half the time compared to other I/O solutions.

Emulex is demonstrating the new Emulex Virtual Fabric Adapter II for IBM BladeCenter at the IBM System Storage Technical University in Orlando, Florida this week, July 18 -22 in booth 90.

"IBM BladeCenter delivers flexibility, virtualization and resilience," said Alex Yost, vice president, IBM System x and BladeCenter. "Emulex 10GbE VFAs are a good fit for IBM BladeCenter because they give clients the flexibility to choose their fabric and enable virtual NIC capability, which is perfect for organizations running a virtualized environment."

"Virtualization adoption continues to expand rapidly, and by 2013, the majority of applications will be running as VMs on virtualized servers," said Rick Villars, Vice President, Storage Systems & Executive Strategies, IDC. "Solutions like the new Emulex VFAs combined with IBM's new Virtual Fabric Architecture will make it easier for IT teams to address the needs of their organizations in the highly virtualized data center."

"Virtualization combined with the continued drive towards consolidation and convergence are becoming the trifecta for the next-generation data center," said Bob Laliberte, senior analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group. "However, with so many network connectivity options, there is still a need to simplify these networks gradually. The upgradability option of Emulex VFAs for IBM will allow customers to gradually shift towards 10GbE, no matter if they are using iSCSI, FCoE, Ethernet, or a combination."

Published Tuesday, July 19, 2011 4:48 PM by David Marshall
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