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10 Gigabit Ethernet comes to Linux servers

Jun 07, 20042 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsLinux

* SGI releases 10 Gigabit Ethernet option for its Linux servers

Silicon Graphics Inc. recently released a 10 Gigabit Ethernet option for its line of Linux/Unix-based servers, workstations and storage appliances.

The PCI-X-based 10 Gigabit Ethernet network interface cards will be an option on SGI’s line of Altix servers and server clusters, Origin servers, SGI Tezro high-end workstations and InfiniteStorage products. All of SGI’s gear can run either an SGI 64-bit version of Linux, or SGI’s proprietary Irix OS, a Unix variant.

SGI last year announced powerful Linux-based products with its Altix “supercluster” servers, which can scale up to 256 Intel Itanium processors with a single Linux operating system image. These products are targeted at high-end, compute-intensive applications in various research fields.

The 10-Gigabit Ethernet connectivity on one of these SGI Linux boxes could greatly improve throughput on a single system. While the 10G Ethernet NICs, supplied by OEM vendor S2IO, won’t produce a full line-rate 10G bit/sec of throughput, the maker of the NICs says sustained throughput of 6 to 8G bit/sec is more realistic, due to packet overhead and limitations on PCI-X bandwidth. However, users should see improved support by as much as 40% on a single 10G NIC, than on multiple Gigabit NICs trunked together on a server. Plus, multiple 10G S2IO NICs can be trunked together on an SGI Linux server, allowing for potential 10-40G bit/sec speeds.

Pricing on the 10G-enabled Linux servers was not released.