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QLogic 8200 CNAs on Dell PowerEdge Servers: A Solid Step Towards Infrastructure Convergence

Normally, the announcement of a server vendor supporting a network adapter wouldn’t be big news, but today… it is.  Dell is now shipping QLogic 8200 Series 10GbE converged network adapters (CNAs) with its new Xeon E5-2600 (Romley) based PowerEdge 12th generation servers, and the benefits for customers will be significant.

No, this isn’t the first time that Dell has embedded a QLogic CNA in its PowerEdge servers.  But given the rapid adoption of server virtualization – which has led to more than half of workloads now being virtualized – and the increasing trend towards converged systems and storage, the market demand is greater than ever.

Though server, software and storage technologies tend to grab headlines around their role in infrastructure convergence, the network adapter is often forgotten, lost in the shuffle.  But as server and network administrators know, a network adapter can make or break a server’s I/O performance, and when it becomes a bottleneck, everyone seems to know.

My bet is, not too many Dell users will ever have to think about the QLogic 8200 Series converged network adapter that happens to be running in their PowerEdge servers, because, well, it will just work, and support everything a user needs from his system.  Bandwidth?  10 GbE provides more than enough for most users and applications.  Support for SAN and LAN (TCP/IP) protocols?   With QLogic’s Switch Independent Partitioning, each physical port can be divided into four logical ports, which can each support iSCSI, FCoE, or 10 Gigabit Ethernet. 

Quality of Service (QoS) controls?  Users can flexibly allocate guaranteed bandwidth to each virtual adapter, to ensure that the most critical applications get priority.  Limited OPEX budget?  The port-level virtual partitioning capability eliminates the cost of the physical network and storage adapters that would otherwise be needed.  And because the partitioning is switch agnostic, users can use the most cost-effective 10 GbE switch that meets their needs.

Freedom of choice?  The QLogic 8200 CNAs are supported on Dell Blade, Rack and Tower server configurations, in one of three different form factors: standalone PCIe, mezzanine card PCIe, or network daughter card.  The adapters include all the hardware offloads users would expect, and they can be managed either from Dell System Management tools or a QLogic console.

By enhancing server I/O via virtualization and hardware offloads, the QLogic 8200 Series complements the higher VM density and IOPS enabled by the Intel Xeon E5 processor.  We think that Dell server customers will like the reliability, performance and flexibility the QLogic 8200 Series CNAs provide, as well as the cost and manageability advantages accruing from an increasingly converged infrastructure.

  • Premiered: 03/07/12
  • Author: Jeff Byrne
Topic(s): Virtualization Server Virtualization CNA Converged Infrastructure Qlogic


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