NIC family enables comprehensive networking and storage

29th June 2017
Alice Matthews

Provider of semiconductor products that enable secure and intelligent processing for enterprise and cloud data centres, Cavium, has announced the FastLinQ 41000 series, its low power, second generation of 10/25/40/50GbE NIC and NIC adapter with Universal RDMA, which it claims makes it the industry's most advanced 10/25/40/50Gbps Ethernet NIC Family. The cost and power optimised FastLinQ 41000 series deliver advanced networking for cloud and telco architectures.

FastLinQ 41000 series NICs are available immediately from Cavium and will soon be available from leading Tier-1 OEMs and ODMs worldwide in standard, mezzanine, LOM and OCP form factors.

The unprecedented growth in demand for bandwidth is driving data centre networks to be scalable and offer on-demand bandwidth provisioning and application agility. Data centres are expanding at a rapid pace as is the virtualisation and container density for compute, driving the need for higher bandwidth between the server and switches. 25GbE, a new standard in networking, leverages the maximum potential of Multi-core processors, NVMe flash storage and cloud architectures to deliver 2.5 times the performance, reducing the power and cost per gigabit significantly. Although the cost, power and performance benefits of 25Gbps Ethernet technology are undisputed, enterprise and cloud data centres investing in 25GbE also require a flexible and highly interoperable solution.

This can be a challenge considering the mix of pre-standard and standard-based 25GbE products in the market. In addition, the recent spurs in malware-led intrusion and data theft are driving private and public cloud networks to ensure that only trusted and validated software components get deployed. Enterprise and cloud data centres also have differing requirements driven by infrastructure and application workloads for latency and congestion management, so flexibility of the networking solution is key. Cavium FastLinQ 41000 series family effectively addresses these challenges while delivering a flexible and future proof networking solution.

The FastLinQ QL41000 family is the second generation of standards compliant 25/50GbE NICs and the industry’s only NIC adapter family that delivers customers the technology choice and investment protection with support for concurrent RoCE, RoCEv2 and iWARP – Universal RDMA. The FastLinQ adapters coupled with leading server and networking platforms enable enterprise data centres to optimise their infrastructure costs and increase virtual machine density by leveraging built-in technologies like concurrent SR-IOV and NIC Partitioning (NPAR) that deliver acceleration and QoS for tenant workloads and infrastructure traffic.

Additionally, the FastLinQ adapters provide full Network Function Virtualisation with excellent small packet performance with integration into DPDK and OpenStack enabling Cloud and Telcos/NFV customers to seamlessly deploy, manage and accelerate the most demanding artificial intelligence, Big Data, CDN and Machine Learning workloads. Storage Acceleration and offloads like NVMe-oF, NVMe-Direct, iSCSI, iSER and FCoE built into the FastLinQ QL41000 enable seamless upgrade paths from existing storage paradigms to next-gen NVMe and persistent memory semantics. Enabling zero-touch automatic speed and FEC selection, Cavium FastLinQ SmartAN technology virtually eliminates interoperability challenges in physical layer networks.

“The addition of FastLinQ 41000 series of highly optimised 10/25/40/50GbE NICs to Cavium’s broad Ethernet NIC portfolio enables Cavium to meet and exceed the requirements of the most demanding enterprise, telco and cloud applications and deliver scalability to drive business growth,” said Rajneesh Gaur, Vice President and General Manager of Ethernet Adapter Group, Cavium. “FastLinQ 41000 series provides a highly differentiated solution by delivering flexibility in choice of RDMA and seamless interoperability with a broad ecosystem of Ethernet switching and server solutions using SmartAN technology.”

Purpose-built for accelerating and simplifying data centre networking, Cavium FastLinQ 41000 series Ethernet technology delivers:

  • Enterprise Class Reliability, Flexibility and Security – With millions of Ethernet ports shipped, and a flexible architecture that delivers faster time to market and future proofing for new and emerging technologies, FastLinQ Ethernet NICs are amongst the top choices for enterprise data centres. Cavium SmartAN technology enables adaptive link controls for seamless zero-touch interoperability with industry wide 25/100GbE switches and cables. Extensive and robust support of a broad variety of enterprise and cloud operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Linux, VMware ESXi, FreeBSD and Solaris for seamless integration for diverse application platforms across x86, ARM, SPARC and Power8 architectures. Support for UEFI Secure Boot safeguards the FastLinQ NIC and ensures no rogue drivers are being executed on start-up, preventing the injection of malware.
  • Cloud Ready – Industry’s only network adapter that delivers the ultimate choice and investment protection with concurrent support for RoCE, RoCEv2 and iWARP. Acceleration for Network Virtualisation by offloading protocol processing for VxLAN, NVGRE, GRE and GENEVE enables customers to build and scale virtualised networks without impacting network performance. Authenticated updates for NICs validate that signed firmware is correct and trusted to eliminate rogue firmware installation, reducing attack surfaces.
  • Storage Acceleration – Concurrent full offload for NVMe-oF, NVMe-Direct, SMB Direct, iSER, iSCSI and FCoE delivers up to 3M IOPS while consuming fewer server CPU cycles, leaving headroom for virtual applications and higher ROI on server investments with seamless upgrade paths of next gen storage connectivity.
  • Telco and Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) – Leading small packet performance, with line rate packet per second for 10/25Gbps Ethernet, MPLSoUDP offload, and integration with DPDK and OpenStack with Mirantis FUEL Plug-in, enables Telco’s and NFV application vendors to seamlessly deploy, manage and accelerate the most demanding NFV workloads.

Key features:

  • 10/25/40/50Gbps Ethernet connectivity across standard and OCP form factors
  • PCIe Gen 3 x8 with backward compatibility
  • Passive heat sink design
  • Universal RDMA – Concurrent RoCE, RoCEv2 and iWARP
  • Stateless offloads for VxLAN, NVGRE, GENEVE
  • SmartAN for seamless 10/25GbE interoperability
  • Full Storage protocol offloads for iSCSI, FCoE, iSER, NVMe-oF, SMB Direct
  • Secure Firmware Update and UEFI secure boot
  • Comprehensive Management across heterogeneous platforms with QConvergeConsole GUI and CLI.

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