August 27th, 2013 by Brian Beeler
Mellanox 40GbE with vSphere 5.5 Support Everywhere at VMworld 2013
Mellanox has long been synonymous with high-speed interconnects, but this year's VMworld has taken the company to a new level of visibility in the storage community. First off, the ConnextX-3 40GbE driver has been successfully integrated into VMware vSphere 5.5 which makes it easier to deploy 40GbE in virtualized environments. While 10GbE is slowly finding its way into enterprise storage arrays, Mellanox is showing that 40GbE is a worthwhile jump from standard Ethernet as vendors consider what's next for interconnect. Mellanox is showing a sustainable throughput rate of more than 37Gb/s using servers equipped with Mellanox’s ConnectX-3 40GbE NICs connected by SwitchX 40GbE switches and the company’s high performance QSFP+ cables. Several other vendors are showcasing storage solutions around the Mellanox gear as well including Micron, OCZ and LSI.
Micron had the "fastest" demo leveraging Mellanox's 40GbE support, leveraging 8 new Micron P420m PCIe SSDs and 2 ConnectX-3 NICs. Their setup was capable of pushing up to 11GB/s or up to 527,000 IOPS.
OCZ was also showing off the benefits of Mellanox's new 40GbE support, showing the performance improvements of their VXL software with the faster interconnect. Previously their SAN-less VXL vSphere caching software relied on 10GbE support for sharing cache between systems in a clustered environment, where the 40GbE capabilities allow them to substantially increase bandwidth between servers.
LSI was also showing off their Nytro MegaRAID adapter working inside a storage solution shared over iSER working with 40GbE Mellanox NICs. The low-latency solution combines in-host flash capacity with intelligent caching software and hard drive RAID management for a superior performance/cost/desktop ratio. The joint solution supports up to 1,500 virtual desktops across 10 vSphere servers with a hardware MSRP of less than $25,000.