The 25 Gigabit Intel® Ethernet Network Adapter XXV710

Published: 05/23/2018  

Last Updated: 05/23/2018

By Jingjing Wu

Overview

With the rapid development of the Internet, cloud computing, and big data, data center bandwidth demand continues to grow to meet the present and future needs for large cloud data flow. Compared to the old Ethernet upgrade scheme from 10G or 40G to 100G, data centers prefer to upgrade to 25G, which provides the following advantages:

  • Easy to upgrade: Compatible with the 10G/25G port, and one 100G Intel® Ethernet Active Optical Cable QSFP28 to SFP28 Breakout transceiver can be directly connected to four 25G Intel® Ethernet Active Optical Cable SFP28 transceivers
  • Greater use of PCI Express* (PCIe*) bandwidth
  • More economical

For more information, see the article 25G Ethernet VS 40G Ethernet from Cozlink.

Intel has introduced the Intel® Ethernet Network Adapter XXV710 as the newest member of the Intel® Ethernet 700 Series, which also includes the 10G Intel® Ethernet Network Adapter X710 and the 40G Intel® Ethernet Network Adapter XL710.

Features of Intel Ethernet Network Adapter XXV710

  • Eight-channel PCIe 3.0
  • 10 GbE/25 GbE support for single port and dual port
  • Supports both PCIe and the Open Compute Project*
  • Meets the IEEE 802.3by and 25GEthernet.org standards
  • Supports network virtualization offload, including VXLAN, NVGRE, GENEVE, and VXLAN-GPE, which contain the network service headers (NSH) and multiprotocol label switching (MPLS)
  • Uses Intel® Ethernet Flow Director for the operation of hardware-based application flow
  • Provides excellent performance of small packets for network devices and network functions virtualization
  • Intelligent unloading support using the Intel® Xeon® processor to achieve high performance
  • I/O virtualization maximizes performance in virtualized servers
  • Adaptive link supports interworking with other 25GbE switches and host controllers

Performance Comparison

Let’s look at some of the differences between the 25G Intel Ethernet Network Adapter XXV710 and the more familiar Intel Ethernet Converged Network Adapter X520.

Packet processing

Intel® Ethernet Converged Network Adapter X520

This controller has fixed packet analysis topology and fixed packet processing logic. That is, the type of packet that the Ethernet card can process is immutable, and the logic of filtering, sorting, and other packet processing processes are fixed. For example, the Intel Ethernet Converged Network Adapter X520 can recognize packets of Internet Protocol version 4 user datagram protocol (UDP) and make receive-side scaling (RSS) for packets for the purpose of load sharing. However, it cannot recognize the newly defined message types like NSH or MPLS. Even for UDP protocol, the RSS keywords are five tuples, which are also fixed.

Intel® Ethernet Network Adapter XXV710 (Intel® Ethernet 700 Series)

This network adapter has variable packet analysis topology and packet handling logic. Its variable packet processing allows network parsing and the classification of different types of packets (like NSH and MPLS) after upgrading the firmware or through specific software configurations. Even for the typical TCP/UDP packets, the input set for classification can be changed too. For example, match the UDP destination port only and import the flow to the specified queue, or import the payload that can match the packet into the specified queue.

Switch bridge

Intel® Ethernet Converged Network Adapter X520

The Ethernet card is embedded with the exchange function. The flow between the virtual function (VF) can be exchanged on the Ethernet card, based on MAC and VLAN. Meanwhile, a stream mirroring based on VLAN, VF, and interfaces is also provided.

Intel® Ethernet Network Adapter XXV710

New matching rules have been added to support tunnel packet (e.g. VXLAN) steering into a specified VF and queue. In addition, the function of floating VEB has been added. As its name suggests, floating VEB refers to the exchange between VFs. It is physically separated and can coexist with the ordinary VEB so as to achieve flow isolation between VEB, which is free of impact of the port state.

Virtualization

The following table compares the main virtualization features of the Intel Ethernet Network Adapter XXV710 with those of the Intel Ethernet Converged Network Adapter X520.

Features

Intel Ethernet Network Adapter XXV710

Intel Ethernet Converged Network Adapter X520

SR-IOV Network Virtual Functions in KVM

Yes

Yes

Mailbox between PF and VF

Yes

Yes

Maximum number of VFs

128 per device

64 per queue

Maximum number of VMDQ

256 per device

64 per queue

Number of queues

1538

128

Maximum number of queues per VF

16

8

number of queues per VF

Dynamic

Static

Number of MAC address

1024

128

RSS per VF

Yes

Sharing the configure with PF

Bridge mode

VEB, VEPA, floating VEB

VEB

Quality of Service (Qos) and Data Center Bridge (DCB)

The following table compares QoS and DCB features between the Intel Ethernet Network Adapter XXV710 and the Intel Ethernet Converged Network Adapter X520.

Features

Intel Ethernet Network Adapter XXV710

Intel Ethernet Converged Network Adapter X520

Hierarchy scheduler

Port, VSI, queue

Port, queue

Queue division based on traffic class

Dynamic

Static

Hardware DCBX support

Yes

No

The Intel® Ethernet Network Adapter XXV710 with the Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK)

  • Driven by the i40e poll mode driver
  • Dynamic Device Personalization was introduced. Ethernet card packet processing behavior is changed through the properties file written by the Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK) API, which helps it to achieve the customized purpose and avoid the trouble of firmware updates.
  • Virtualization features offload, including traffic steering, checksum offload, and so on. For example, you can import MPLS, VXLAN, and NVGRE flows into specific virtual machine and queues.
  • The generic flow API provides good support for the Intel Ethernet Network Adapter XXV710's flexible packet processing.
  • DCB and QoS enablement on VF, which is suitable for NFV scenarios.

About the Author

Wu Jingjing is a software engineer working on the DPDK poll mode driver (PMD) at Intel. She is also the maintainer of the i40 PMD and TestPMD submodules in the DPDK community.

References

25G Ethernet VS 40G Ethernet – Cozlink

Intel® Ethernet Controller X710/XXV710/XL710 Datasheet Revision: 3.5, February 2018

Intel® 82599 10 Gigabit Ethernet Controller Datasheet v.3.3, Mar. 2016

I40E Poll Mode Driver – DPDK.org

Dynamic Device Personalization for Intel® Ethernet 700 Series – Intel® Developer Zone

Product and Performance Information

1

Performance varies by use, configuration and other factors. Learn more at www.Intel.com/PerformanceIndex.