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Start-up makes 10 Gigabit Ethernet adapters available

Apr 04, 20062 mins

* IBM and HP choose start-up NetXen's NIC technology

Start-up NetXen last week started shipping 10 Gigabit Ethernet server adapters and revealed that HP and IBM plan to use its technology in future products.

As my colleague Deni Connor writes, the adapters are designed to speed up processing and reduce the power consumed. The company bills its technology as necessary as data centers continue to pack more servers (consolidated servers and server blades) into smaller spaces.

Power consumption is a growing concern among those who are doing such consolidation. Power use creates heat, so cooling becomes an issue. Andreas M. Antonopoulos, author of our New Data Center Strategies newsletter, recently addressed this.

NetXen actually has several products available, in both chips for OEMs and boards for end users. It has dual 10 Gigabit Ethernet and dual Gigabit Ethernet chips. It offers three 10 Gigabit Ethernet adapters with different interfaces – pluggable XFP SR optics, pluggable XFP LR optics, and a CX4 copper interface. The company also offers a quad-Gigabit Ethernet card with 1000Base-T connections. All are PCI Express cards.

NetXen says its approach to protocol offload is “operating-system-agnostic,” and its products can handle TCP/IP, iSCSI and RDMA. They can also handle IEEE 802.1p prioritization and 802.1Q virtual LANs. Jumbo frames are supported as well.

Are users ready for 10 Gigabit Ethernet NICs? And dual-port 10G Ethernet at that? Perhaps some are, but it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Certainly, with the interest of IBM and HP in this technology, there is some momentum here.