Intel Simplifies Data Center Connectivity

Intel Simplifies Data Center Connectivity

Intel Simplifies Data Center Connectivity with Industry-First FCoE Adapters

STORAGE NETWORKING WORLD, Orlando, Fla., April 8, 2008 – Intel Corporation today announced Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) support on its family of 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) server adapters. The company has developed an initiator that will be bundled with Intel 10GbE server adapters for PCI Express* to enable FCoE functionality. Intel also introduced the Intel® 10 Gigabit AF DA Dual Port Server Adapter, a low-cost FCoE-capable copper adapter with an energy-efficient, low-profile design for rack installations in the data center.

Intel's family of 10GbE server adapters is the industry's first to support Fibre Channel over Ethernet. FCoE consolidates Fibre Channel SAN traffic and LAN traffic onto Ethernet, making it easier and more affordable to connect Intel® Xeon® processor-based servers to Fibre Channel SANs, while Intel 10GbE adapters provide the bandwidth and efficient processing needed to handle multiple traffic classes.

"Our customers want to simplify data center networking," said Pat Gelsinger, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Digital Enterprise Group. "One way we're meeting these needs is by delivering cost-effective 10GbE and FCoE solutions for our Intel Xeon processor-based servers. These technologies reduce clutter in the data center, reduce power and lower costs by eliminating the need for extra hardware equipment and cables."

The growth of multi-core processor and virtualized server deployments is driving the need for increased I/O bandwidth. However, a major hurdle to 10GbE adoption has been the high price per port. The Intel® 10 Gigabit AF DA Dual Port Server Adapter is an SFP+ Direct Attach adapter that is priced at just one quarter the cost of today's dual-port 10GbE SR fiber adapters. This new adapter provides a cost-effective 10GbE solution for distances of up to 10 meters when attached to a 10GbE SFP+ switch port, such as those available on the new Cisco Nexus* switching platforms.

Intel's family of 10GbE server adapters for PCI Express, including the new SFP+ adapter, supports Enhanced Ethernet features, such as Priority Groups and Priority Flow Control. These features provide the lossless service needed for a unified fabric that combines LAN and SAN traffic over a single Ethernet connection.

"With support for Unified Fabric and FCoE, these new Intel products support Cisco's Data Center 3.0 vision," said Jayshree Ullal, senior vice president of the Data Center, Switching and Services Group at Cisco. "These standards will help to create a more scalable, agile network for the virtualized data center. Cisco looks forward to continuing our work with Intel to drive these and other transformational technologies."

The FCoE specification is being developed by the Fibre Channel standards body, INCITS T11 Technical Committee, and ratification is expected later this year. As a member of this standards body, Intel is working with other industry leaders to ensure a strong ecosystem of interoperable solutions.

"Brocade will be providing end-to-end FCoE solutions, extending the benefits of storage consolidation to more servers," said Luc Moyen, vice president and general manager of Brocade's Server Division. "FCoE enables SAN traffic to be natively transported over Enhanced Ethernet networks, while protecting and extending the investment that customers have made in Fibre Channel. We're happy to see Intel server adapters include Enhanced Ethernet capabilities with FCoE support."

"The ability to work seamlessly with an existing Fibre Channel infrastructure makes FCoE an exciting evolutionary technology," said Barbara Robidoux, vice president, EMC Storage Marketing. "EMC and Intel are working closely to help our mutual customers take advantage of this emerging networking standard to increase storage area network efficiency and lower costs while using their existing storage, server and network infrastructure."

"NetApp is a strong supporter of storage over Ethernet, whether it's FCoE, iSCSI, NFS or CIFS," said Patrick Rogers, vice president of Solution Marketing at NetApp. "Any technology that makes it easier to network storage is a benefit to our customers and the industry as a whole. We look forward to working with Intel to further advance this area."

The Intel 10 Gigabit AF DA Dual Port Server Adapter will be in volume production in May and will be priced at $799. The entire Intel 10GbE family will have FCoE support on Red Hat Enterprise Linux by July and on Windows later this year.

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10 meters, that's it. Granted data center cabling is not usually long distances but 10m will only stretch maybe down a row of 7 or 8 cabinets and that's it. They need to find a way to atleasy double that to be usuable in most applications. If they can do that than I could see a fairly decent market for this.

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