Feeds

Intel gifts world open source FCoE

Vows to save 400,000,000 feet of cable

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Intel has officially introduced its Open FCoE software stack, based on the native OS Fibre Channel Over Ethernet project it first open sourced in 2007.

Intel Open FCoE is free for use with Intel's X520 family of 10 GbE (Gigabit Ethernet) server adaptors, and it has been qualified for Microsoft Windows, Red Hat and SUSE Linux, switches from Cisco and Brocade, and storage hardware from EMC and Netapp.

Fibre Channel Over Ethernet lets you run, well, Fibre Channel Over Ethernet, bringing all your enterprise networking traffic onto one big fat cable. Ethernet is already the basis for NAS (network attached storage) and iSCSI storage. With Intel's setup, company man Tom Swinford told reporters on Thursday morning at a company press event in downtown San Francisco, you can attach Intel's standard 10GbE adapter to file-based storage, NAS hardware, an iSCSI box, or Fibre Channel over Ethernet.

According to Swinford, if the world converted all its Fibre Channel–happy virtualized servers to what Intel calls Intel Open FCoE, the world would save $3bn in hardware and power costs and 400,000,000 feet of cable. That's enough cable.

Today, Swinford said, the average virtualized server has eight to ten 1GbE connectors and two Fibre Channel connectors, and Intel's setup can take all that down to a pair of 10GbE connectors.

Swinford told us that the technology does offload some work onto hardware, but most of the stack runs in the OS. "Our approach is a little different than others: we're running all the Fibre Channel protocols on the host, instead of running it in proprietary hardware [on the networking adaptor]," Swinford said. "We have total flexibility. ... What we really want is for every server that ships with either our adapter or with LAN on motherboard to be able to support [Intel's FCoE]."

Citing Microsoft Exchange and MySQL benchmarks from an independent test house, Swinford said that the setup would not put an undo burden on the CPU. The tests, he said, never showed more than 5 per cent CPU utilization. And he boasted that the settup is designed to improve as servers improve. "As we continue to make stronger, more powerful processors, our performance will continue to get better," he said. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
VMware builds product executables on 50 Mac Minis
And goes to the Genius Bar for support
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
Microsoft says 'weird things' can happen during Windows Server 2003 migrations
Fix coming for bug that makes Kerberos croak when you run two domain controllers
Cisco says network virtualisation won't pay off everywhere
Another sign of strain in the Borg/VMware relationship?
Forrester says Australia, not China, is next boom market for cloud
It's cloudy but fine down under, analyst says
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.