Neterion Provides I/O Virtualization - InformationWeek
Software // Information Management
01:00 PM
Connect Directly
[Cybersecurity] Costs, Risks, & Benefits
Feb 28, 2017
How much should your organization spend on information security? What's the potential cost of a ma ...Read More>>

Neterion Provides I/O Virtualization

Adapter combines high-end Ethernet capacity with leading-edge virtualization and fills a gap in data center virtualization.

With data center virtualization, "it's not enough to give a server a fat pipe" such as 10 Gigabit Ethernet, says Dave Zabrowski, CEO of Neterion. The pipe itself has to be virtualized--that is, it must be able to perform at near line rates for virtualized applications, up to 10 Gbps.

Neterion's X3100 adapter provides that I/O virtualization. Zabrowski calls it "the missing piece of virtualization to data centers."

The SR-IOV standard was devised to give makers of network interface cards and host bus adapters a common way to virtualize I/O on x86 instruction set servers. The PCI-SIG is the industry association that came up with the standard.

Many adapter suppliers are expected to eventually enter the 10 Gigabit Ethernet field with similar devices that also support SR-IOV. But Neterion is the first vendor to combine high-end Ethernet capacity with leading-edge virtualization.

Instead of a single I/O channel, the Neterion X3100 Series adapter lets multiple virtual machines share a single NIC and still be guaranteed that each virtualized application has access to a full-bore, 10 Gig Ethernet I/O route when needed. The routes can be dynamically reallocated to meet application demand based on quality-of-service requirements.

chart: IOV Promises Big Performance Gains
The Neterion X3100 can generate 17 I/O paths, though the actual number for VM use is 16. The 17th channel was added for I/O management instructions.

The ability to virtualize I/O lifts one of the constraints on server virtualization in the data center. As servers are virtualized and the number of applications per server increases, so does the potential for I/O contention.

Data center administrators are trying to balance virtual machine workloads by putting virtualized applications with different I/O requirements on the same server. If, in addition to virtualizing applications, administrators can virtualize server I/O, it becomes easier to put more and more demanding applications on each physical server without worrying about I/O needs. To date, applications with high I/O demands have not been virtualized, largely for performance reasons.

Neterion supplies host bus adapters for servers produced by Fujitsu Computer Products of America, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Sun Microsystems. Gigabit Ethernet is a common device specification today; 10 Gigabit Ethernet is likely to become standard over the next 10 years, Zabrowski says.

The X3100 adapters support VMware's NetQueue on ESX 3.5, and the company plans to support other hypervisors soon. Look for street prices starting at about $1,000.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of the Cloud Report
As the use of public cloud becomes a given, IT leaders must navigate the transition and advocate for management tools or architectures that allow them to realize the benefits they seek. Download this report to explore the issues and how to best leverage the cloud moving forward.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll