By Dave Simpson
Emulex began shipping its third-generation converged network adapter (CNA) technology to its OEM partners about six months ago, and today made that technology available to its channel partners with the introduction of the OneConnect OCe11000 Universal Converged Network Adapter (UCNA).
The OCe11000 adapter is based on the 10GbE BladeEngine 3 (BE3) I/O controller chip, which was introduced in mid-2010. The BE3 is a single-chip, dual-port controller.
According to Shaun Walsh, vice president of corporate marketing at Emulex, the BE3 provides a 20% performance improvement over previous generation chips in terms of I/Os per second (IOPS), while contributing to a power consumption decrease of up to 25% on the OneConnect OCe11000 UCNA vs. the OCe10000 adapters.
Emulex has not yet released performance figures for the OCe11000 CNAs (although the company has previously claimed performance of more than one million IOPS).
The CNAs provide full hardware offload of 10GbE, iSCSI and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) protocols via Emulex’s vEngine technology.
Emulex’s new CNAs support Single Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV), which is now available on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6. SR-IOV allows PCIe devices to appear as multiple physical devices, and boosts the number of virtual machines (VMs) that can be supported. SR-IOV also offloads I/O functions from the hypervisor to host-based I/O controllers.
With the introduction of the OCe11000, Emulex also added a VMware vCenter Plug-In.
According to IDC, shipments of 10GbE adapters will increase at a CAGR of 94.5% between 2009 and 2014. And according to an end-user survey conducted by IT Brand Pulse, server virtualization is the #1 driver behind adoption of 10GbE (cited by 34% of the survey respondents), followed by iSCSI (17%) and NAS (14%). About 8% of the respondents cited FCoE as a primary driver behind adoption of 10GbE.