Atlanta - Alteon Networks continued its crusade for Jumbo Frames yesterday at the NetWorld+Interop trade show, winning endorsements from FORE Systems, IBM, Microsoft, Silicon Graphics and others.
Alteon also announced it has developed a way to make the proprietary Jumbo Frame technology transparent to networks that don't support the frames. The company plans to make available products that support the new technique next year.
Until now, Alteon has largely been on its own in developing Jumbo Frames. By extending the Ethernet frame size from 1,500 bytes to 9,000 bytes, Alteon says it can get higher throughput from servers using Gigabit Ethernet. Servers don't have to work as hard because they are sending or receiving fewer frames during any given period of time and, therefore, have fewer frames to process.
But critics have pointed out that most users won't accept Jumbo Frames unless they are standardized by the IEEE.
Alteon is trying to address that issue by petitioning the IEEE to form a study group to look into the possibility of standardizing Jumbo Frames. The company is also working to make the technology play better in standard Ethernet networks.
To do this, Alteon will adjust its network interface cards to tell the server that clients can accept Jumbo Frames. When the server sends a large frame to the NIC, the NIC breaks it up into 1,500-byte chunks, processing those smaller chunks so the server doesn't have to.
FORE said it will include support for Jumbo Frames in the switches it recently with its acquisition of Berkeley Networks. IBM is including support today in adapters for its RS/6000 workstations, and will add support to mainframe systems in the first quarter of next year. And Silicon Graphics will bundle drivers for Jumbo Frames with its Irix operating system next year.
IBM backs Alteon's Jumbo Frames effort
Network World, 9/25/98.
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