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Solarflare to Equip Servers for 10 Gig E Networks

New controllers said to provide standard x86 servers with sub-six-microsecond latency.

Firms thinking of upgrading their data centers from a 1 gigabit Ethernet to a 10 gigabit Ethernet network to gain potentially 10-fold increases in data transmission speeds might be interested in Solarflare's new family of 10 gig E controllers. These devices fit on server motherboards and will soon be incorporated in x86 servers from manufacturers such as Dell, HP and IBM.

A major driver of of such data center network upgrades has been server virtualization, according to Mike Smith, vice president of product marketing. "There's a huge movement toward the whole idea of virtualizing applications, abstracting the operating system and the applications from hardware, and in doing so you eliminate the one-to-one relationship between server and app and begin to consolidate apps onto fewer servers, " he points out. "Thus, the workload on the server has increased. But while utilization of servers has increased dramatically, networking has not kept pace," he says, noting that most data centers still run on 1 gigabit Ethernet networks.

According to Solarflare, its SFC9000 controllers provide sub-6 microsecond latency, which makes them suitable for high-performance applications such as high-frequency trading. The company also says the new controllers offer backwards compatibility with 1000 Mbps Ethernet and support for installed cabling media.

"This is the lowest latency and highest throughput controller we have ever seen," said Gregory Lorence, head of product management and marketing at 29West, a provider of messaging software for the financial industry.

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