Intel® 10GbE Adapter Performance Evaluation for FCoE and iSCSI
As the interest in converged networks grows, and as the vendors from the traditional Ethernet adapter and Fibre Channel adapter marketplaces produce converged products, questions arise about the capabilities and performance of each type of adapter. Intel commissioned Demartek to compare the performance of their ...Intel® Ethernet Server Adapter X520 that supports Ethernet and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) protocols with those of the two leading Fibre Channel adapter vendors.
A series of application performance workloads were run and repeated for each of the three competing converged adapters connecting servers to storage in a Data Center Bridging (DCB)/FCoE environment. The goal of this testing was to evaluate products in environments similar to actual customer environments. As a result, these tests were performed with well-known disk storage arrays with spinning disk drives in FCoE and iSCSI configurations similar to those typically found in customer data centers, rather than testing theoretical performance with specialized hardware not typically found in customer environments.
In examining the results of these comprehensive performance tests, we found that for the most part, the performance of all three brands of adapters fell into a fairly narrow range. In some tests, one adapter had the highest performance; in other tests, a different adapter had the highest performance. Because the adapter performance was reasonably close in most of these tests, IT professionals need to consider the cost of these adapters, especially in environments where many adapters are required. In addition, Ethernet features and functions in converged adapters should be considered. For these tests, the Intel® adapter provides the best price for performance in these real-world application tests. In some environments, the additional cost of more expensive adapters could be applied towards faster CPUs or more CPU cores that would benefit all applications running on that host.
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