QLogic 16Gb Gen 5 Fibre Channel in IBM System x Deployments

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1 QLogic 16Gb Gen 5 Fibre Channel in IBM System x Deployments Increase Virtualization Density and Eliminate I/O Bottlenecks with QLogic High-Speed Interconnects Key Findings Support for increased workloads, acceleration of application performance, and meeting the growing demands placed on the enterprise data center are key considerations in selecting and deploying a 16Gb Gen 5 Fibre Channel Adapter with the right architecture to scale and support robust databases, mail servers, and secondary storage. Performance: QLogic delivers double the performance of previous-generation adapters with more than 1.2 million IOPS and 3,200 MBps bidirectional throughput. Application Throughput: QLogic adapters fully offload protocol processing, which delivers the highest performance for applications in Oracle and Microsoft Exchange Server environments. Superior Business Scalability: The QLogic 2600 Series Fibre Channel Adapter delivers higher performance scalability in Microsoft Windows, which enables the best virtualization deployments.

2 Executive Summary IBM recently announced the availability of 16Gb Fibre Channel Adapters for IBM System x servers. The 16Gb Gen 5 Fibre Channel Adapters provide double the bandwidth between the server, Fibre Channel SAN, and storage array as well as reduced response time, allowing faster access to data while putting minimal load on the server processor. The Fibre Channel Adapters are the first in the IBM System x portfolio to fully leverage the PCIe gen 3 bus in the System x M4 servers. There are a number of drivers for increased bandwidth to storage. First, there is the cumulative I/O requirement of an increasing number of virtual machines (VMs) on physical servers. Second, technology transitions in other parts of the server platform, such as the PCIe Gen3 bus, and the increasing use of SSDs require higher performance I/O. Last, there are always performance-hungry applications, such as video streaming, database, and back-up/replication, that will always benefit from the latest-generation devices. Introduction The importance of I/O performance and reliability has never been greater. Next-generation server attachment has to support heterogeneous environments, multi-protocol I/O, higher levels of virtualization, and cloud computing deployments. These requirements drive the need for highperformance I/O, flexibility of deployment, and ease of use. Networked storage will be a key component to solving the data center s demand for higher bandwidth. Converged networks and traditional Fibre Channel SANs enable enterprise businesses to meet these challenges. Enterprises continue to rely heavily on Fibre Channel as a trusted storage technology in virtualized server environments. Explosive growth in the number and complexity of Web 2.0, databases and backup, Big Data, cloud computing, and other enterprise applications are driving workloads exponentially in the data center. There are more users, more devices, and more data than ever before. The infrastructure in the data center is becoming increasingly complex due to mixed deployment models: discrete, virtual, and cloud. IT administrators continue to experience spending pressures more than 70 percent of budgets are being spent just to keep the lights on. For these reasons, data center managers need to deliver high-performance and reliable infrastructure that is simple to manage and lowers costs. QLogic and IBM have partnered to bring 16Gb Fibre Channel connectivity to IBM System x servers. The single- and dualport adapters are the first in IBM s product portfolio to leverage the PCIe Gen3 in the latest IBM System x M4 servers. Data Center Challenges The data center manager is experiencing tremendous application growth and increased use of server virtualization. Today, there are technology shifts, including the introduction of multi-core processors, solid-state drives, and PCIe 3.0, as well as increased memory and larger server workloads. These shifts are allowing greater agility and increases in optimization using new architectures. Networked storage will be a key component to fulfilling the demand for higher bandwidth. Enterprise businesses will meet these challenges with converged networks and traditional Fibre Channel SANs using 16Gb. Storage Networking Solution Organizations with enterprise SANs continue to rely heavily on Fibre Channel as a trusted storage technology in virtualized server environments. For those organizations that continue to invest in Fibre Channel SANs, 16Gb Fibre Channel will bring added performance and functionality. 16Gb Fibre Channel is 3 faster in transactions (IOPS), 2 faster in throughput than 8Gb Fibre Channel, and 40 percent faster than 10Gb Ethernet (FCoE and iscsi) (see Figure 1). Organizations can improve price per performance and lower their power requirements with 16Gb Fibre Channel. 16Gb Fibre Channel s backward compatibility ensures investment protection, and there are more physical functions, which increase PCIe slot conservation. SN Rev. B 09/13 2

3 User Benefits Full Offload Capability Lowers CPU utilization for I/O processing Increases application performance More VMs per server with scalable performance Figure 1. 16Gb Fibre Channel is 40 Percent Faster than 10G Ethernet FCoE and 2 Faster than 8Gb Fibre Channel Improved Workload Performance In addition to the increasing aggregate I/O requirements in virtualized servers driven by an increasing number of VMs, individual enterprise workloads, such as media streaming, data warehousing, and data migration, are examples of enterprise workloads that are I/O-intensive and require high-performance bandwidth. Performance improvements are provided for enterprise workloads using the QLogic 2600 Series 16Gb Fibre Channel Adapter. For example, in Windows Server 2012, QLogic delivers fine-grained QoS for virtual Fibre Channel and improved VHDX performance with 16Gb Fibre Channel. In a VMware ESX 5 environment, QLogic differentiates by delivering both double the VMs per server and simplified management using the QCC plug-in for vcenter. The plug-in enables visual management of storage and network components, remote deployment of patches and firmware, and dynamic allocation and setting of bandwidth, resulting in saved time, reduced administrative costs, and optimal utilization of network infrastructure. For Oracle OLTP and OLAP, QLogic 16Gb technology enables half a million transactions per second, twice that of 8Gb Fibre Channel, enhancing application performance. Advanced Virtualization Techniques Lower TCO and Improved Scalability 16Gb Fibre Channel Adapters offer value: Enable hardware consolidation Faster I/O slots Dedicated bandwidth (QoS) and improved scalability prioritybased or bandwidth percentage Lower adapter, cabling, and management costs Simplified Management Pervasive interoperability QCC GUI and CLI QCC vcenter plug-in APIs for integration into third-party management applications SN Rev. B 09/13 3

4 Port 0 Port 1 PCIe Unparalleled Security and Stability 100% Predictable Performance Figure 2. Port Isolation QLogic s High Availability Architecture QLogic sixth-generation Fibre Channel architecture continues to provide complete port-level isolation across its dual-port ASIC. The architecture, unlike the one from its nearest competitor, provides an independent function, firmware image, transmit/receive buffers, on-chip CPU, DMA channels, and firmware image for each port (see Figure 2). These features enable complete port-level isolation, eliminate errors and firmware crashes that propagate across both ports, and provide deterministically predictive, secure, and scalable performance across both ports. All of these capabilities are extremely essential for enterprise data centers assuring five nines availability for mission-critical applications. Meeting the demands of more data, more devices, and more users than ever before and planning for increasing data, application, and storage requirements dictates the need for high-performance I/O delivery. IT administrators know that choosing the right adapter for their SAN infrastructures has a strong impact on the performance, flexibility, and scalability of their enterprise data centers. The results discussed in this white paper demonstrate that QLogic 2600 Series 16Gb Fibre Channel Adapters deliver the requirements needed in the data center and outperform and provide high scalability in real-world environments, allowing IT administrators to set their convergence strategy at their own pace. The QLogic 2600 Series Fibre Channel Adapter will be in the data center throughout the lifetime of the server. QLogic Fibre Channel Stack Stability QLogic has the world s largest installed base of Fibre Channel Adapters with more than 13 million ports shipped. Customers deploying the QLogic Fibre Channel stack benefit from its enterprise-class stability, which provides a lower total cost of ownership, higher uptime, and investment protection. The QLogic Fibre Channel stack has matured and hardened over 15 years of technology leadership and a relentless focus on delivering quality products that meet and exceed the stability and reliability requirements of businesscritical enterprise systems (see Figure 3). The following are a few of the key contributors to the stability and reliability of the QLogic Fibre Channel stack: Extensive Internal Test Programs: With multiple interconnected and geographically distributed internal test sites that deploy automated test suites for 24x7 quality assurance, QLogic testing methodologies are rigorous and extensive. This approach translates to a highly reliable stack. High-Stability Engineering: QLogic s development practices provide a complete set of design and instrumentation techniques that enable higher code coverage, efficient error handling, and resolution. QLogic Intellectual Property: The QLogic Fibre Channel stack leverages patented QLogic IP, such as Overlapping Protection Domains (OPD) and Out of Order Frame Reassembly (OoOFR), that can significantly enhance the integrity and reliability of the Fibre Channel stack. Summary Figure 3. Stable Driver Stack For specific information on QLogic s products in the IBM System x, BladeCenter, and PureFlex portfolios, please visit QLogic continues to be the industry leader in delivering high-performance I/O solutions to data center customers. The performance of the QLogic 2600 Series 16Gb Fibre Channel Adapter is best-in-class and provides the highest performance, superior scalability, unparalleled flexibility, and enhanced reliability. Meeting the demands of more data, more devices, and more users than ever before and planning for growing data, application, and storage requirements dictates the need for high-performance I/O delivery. IT administrators know that choosing the right adapter for their SAN infrastructure can have a strong impact on the performance, flexibility, and scalability of their enterprise data centers. SN Rev. B 09/13 4

5 Learn More Related Video: Benefits of 16Gb Fibre Channel QLogic offers complete solutions to some of the most complex issues facing the data center. To visit the QLogic solutions Web page, click QLogic Solutions under the Solutions tab at For product information specific to QLogic products in the IBM portfolio, please visit Click on the Image to Watch a YouTube Video Disclaimer Reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the validity and accuracy of these performance tests. QLogic Corporation is not liable for any error in this published white paper or the results thereof. Variation in results may be a result of change in configuration or in the environment. QLogic specifically disclaims any warranty, expressed or implied, relating to the test results and their accuracy, analysis, completeness or quality. Follow us: Share: Corporate Headquarters QLogic Corporation Aliso Viejo Parkway Aliso Viejo, CA International Offices UK Ireland Germany France India Japan China Hong Kong Singapore Taiwan 2013 QLogic Corporation. Specifications are subject to change without notice. All rights reserved worldwide. QLogic and the QLogic logo are registered trademarks of QLogic Corporation. BladeCenter, IBM, PureFlex, and System x are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation. Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft Windows, and Windows Server are trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Oracle is a registered trademark of Oracle Corporation. PCIe is a registered trademark of PCI-SIG Corporation. VMware is registered trademark of VMware, Inc. All other brand and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. Information supplied by QLogic Corporation is believed to be accurate and reliable. QLogic Corporation assumes no responsibility for any errors in this document. QLogic Corporation reserves the right, without notice, to make changes in product design or specifications. SN Rev. B 09/13 5

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