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Initial Performance Evaluation of the NetEffect 10 Gigabit iWARP Adapter

Authored on: Dec 19, 2006 by Dennis Dalessandro, Pete Wyckoff, and Gary Montry

Technical Paper

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Interconnect speeds currently surpass the abilities of today's processors to satisfy their demands. The throughput rate provided by the network simply generates too much protocol work for the processor to keep up with. Remote Direct Memory Access has long been studied as a way to alleviate the strain from the processors. The problem is that until recently RDMA interconnects were limited to proprietary or specialty interconnects that are incompatible with existing networking hardware. iWARP, or RDMA over TCP/IP, changes this situation. iWARP brings all of the advantages of RDMA, but is compatible with existing network infrastructure, namely TCP/IP over Ethernet. The drawback to iWARP up to now has been the lack of availability of hardware capable of meeting the performance of specialty RDMA interconnects. Recently, however, 10 Gigabit iWARP adapters are beginning to appear on the market. This paper demonstrates the performance of one such 10 Gigabit iWARP implementation and compares it to a popular specialty RDMA interconnect, InfiniBand.

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