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QLogic Unveils FastLinQ 45000 Series 100 GbE Ethernet Controllers

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

QLogic announced its new FastLinQ 45000 Series Ethernet controllers at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. QLogic currently holds the #1 spot in Fibre Channel and the #2 position in Ethernet, and the constant quest for more performance, and more importantly enhanced interoperability and functionality, led the company to develop a line of products that supports all of the salient protocols in one adapter.

The broad feature set positions the 45000 series to satisfy the needs of demanding environments in data centers, MSPs and enterprise private clouds, among others. The FastLinQ 45000 series offers a suite of differentiating features for server and network virtualization, universal RDMA for low latency and scalability from 10 GbE to 100 GbE. The initial wave of the FastLinQ series offers single and dual port 25 GbE adapters, as well as a single-port 100 GbE adapter. The QLogic products feature ASICs that support either 10 and 25 GbE or 10, 25, 40, 50 and 100 GbE.

10 GbE served as the springboard for the immediate performance jump over 1 GbE, but data center architects almost overwhelmingly prefer 25 GbE to the 10 GbE connection. 10 GbE scales well through 4 x 10 GbE links to create a single 40 GbE connection, but the jump from 10 to 40 is too big for some value-centric architectures that only require a mid-range solution, hence the preference for 25 GbE. The 25 GbE products also offer a tangible power savings over 40 GbE, which is always a key consideration.

"With 2.5 times the bandwidth compared to current generation 10GbE adapters, and fewer lanes enabling lower overall costs than 40GbE, 25GbE provides a more cost effective path to 100GbE," said Seamus Crehan, president, Crehan Research. "I predict the uptick in 25GbE adoption will be significantly faster than it was for either 10GbE or 40GbE technologies. Furthermore, I expect that the demand for products, such as the QLogic FastLinQ 45000 Series will be strong in both telco and cloud-based data center environments."

25 GbE is backwards compatible with existing 10 GbE connections through SFP-type connections, and features a low cost structure (comparatively) for NICs, cables and switches. The common perception is that 25 GbE infrastructure will come close to price parity with 10 GbE this year and that the transition to high volume 25 GbE should occur within the next 18 months.

High-performance 100 GbE traffic can incur excessive CPU overhead under the right (or wrong) conditions, and to that effect QLogic offloads protocol processing to the hardware with a full suite of functionality that includes RDMA, RoCE, RoCEv2, iWARP and the new RDIC.

For those with an interest in reducing latency and boosting performance for storage protocols the company offers CPU offload for iSCSI, FCoE, iSER, and NVMef (NVMe Over Fabrics, my favorite). The expansive feature set goes on to include Open Stack, SDN and NFV, among many others.

The new QLogic controllers ship this quarter in multiple form factors.