10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GbE), is quickly being adopted as the datacenter deployment and upgrade standard, enabling applications to scale and perform at a higher level than ever before. In conjunction with new processor advancements, applications and operating systems can see virtually line rate on the 10 GbE adapters provided by Intel today.
Intel, as a long-time leader in the Datacenter Ethernet market, is now adopting the new Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) Standard (T11-FC-BB-5). Since the beginning of FCoE, Intel has worked hand-in-hand with other industry leaders and this work has helped in setting the standard for Fibre Channel over Ethernet today.
Upgrading to FCoE is as simple as acquiring a Fibre Channel Forwarding- enabled switch (such as, Cisco* Nexus* 5000 or Brocade* 8000), and a 10 GbE adapter that supports FCoE protocol. The Fibre Channel Forwarder (FCF) then connects to your traditional SAN and LAN infrastructures by an Inter-Switch Link (ISL) to the SAN (E-Port), and by trunk ports to the LAN (Spanning-Tree).
With its latest software releases, Intel is launching FCoE support for Microsoft* Windows* over X520 Family adapters. When developing these adapters, Intel architects designed them to support several offload features specifically for FCoE, including:
These adapters also offload the main FCoE data paths to improve throughput. The result is comparable FCoE performance for realworld workloads compared to that of CNAs. While the supported offload assists do not completely offload the FCoE protocol, Intel has offloaded the most common and frequently used commands. With FCoE also comes the lossless Ethernet of Data Center Bridging (DCB) technology. DCB enables the switch to notify the adapter that there is congestion on the port and to pause individual traffic streams until it subsides.