Alacritech unveils fast server NICs

* Alacritech’s SEN2000 Accelerator line of NICs

Alacritech last week expanded its line of server network interface adapters with eight new NICs for use in data centers that need high application performance or have high-volume transactions.

The Alacritech SEN2000 Accelerator line of Gigabit Ethernet TCP/IP Offload Engine Network Interface Cards (TNICs, for short) are implemented as PCI-X and PCI Express adapters for single- and dual-processor servers.

Eight models are available in copper unshielded-twisted pair or fiber-optic configurations. They are:

* The SEN2001XT or SEN2001XF, single-port PCI-X adapters that use copper or fiber-optic cabling

* The SEN2002XT or SEN2002XF, dual-port PCI-X adapters that use copper or fiber

* The SEN2102ET and SEN2102EF, dual-port PCI Express adapters that use copper or fiber

* The SEN2104ET and SEN2104EF, quad-port PCI Express adapters that use copper or fiber

Each TNIC is based on Alactritech’s ASIC - the STA2000 IPP is a wire-speed hardware-based dual-port TCP Offload Engine, which can offload the server processor and accelerate both network and storage traffic.

Alacritech’s TNICs, when paired in a server, also provide failover. Each dual-port adapter will offer quad-processor performance, according to the company’s claims.

The TNICs are primarily designed for Windows-based networking applications.

Alacritech uses a technology called Session Layer Interface Control (SLIC) to optimize the TCP/IP stack and improve application response times. It allows a NIC to increase bandwidth rates without any modification to applications. In freeing the CPU of processing I/O, servers can spend more time processing applications.

One customer, Nebo Systems, processes more than 10 million transactions a month. The company installed Alacritech’s SENS2002 Accelerated NIC, doubling transaction speed and reducing backup times for stored files.

The SEN2002 Accelerators work with Microsoft’s iSCSI Software Initiator, which allows servers to connect to Fibre Channel storage devices over Ethernet. They support the PXE and iSCSI boot capability.

Available now, the SEN2001XT with a 10/100/1000 copper twisted-pair interface has a list price of $999; the SEN2002XT with two 10/100/1000 twisted-pair interfaces has a list price of $1,500. The PCI Express dual- and quad-port models are expected to be available in 90 days and are not priced yet.

Learn more about this topic

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Network World, 04/06/05

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Network World, 07/07/03

Alacritech NICs open larger server pipe

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