Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) and Storage Class Memory (SCM) are offered in current generation servers with Intel Xeon Scalable Processors. The resulting server storage performance gains are driving an increase in network bandwidth: Virtual Machines (VMs) and containers are more densely deployed on servers, the internet Small Computer System Interface (iSCSI) is being used for high-bandwidth storage solutions, and Hyper Converged Infrastructure (HCI) needs extensive bandwidth for inter-node communications. 25GbE networking is not only necessary, but the new standard.
In addition to speed, it is also important to consider additional Network Interface Card (NIC) features that enhance overall performance that may be applicable to a deployment. This includes features like iSCSI hardware offload or Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA). Marvell FastLinQ 41000 Series 25GbE adapters support these and many other capabilities.
Marvell commissioned Demartek to evaluate the benefits of the Marvell FastLinQ 41000 Series when used with latest generation servers. Demartek tested FastLinQ 41000 Series for Layer 2 performance, compared the iSCSI hardware initiator offload performance to that of software initiator on a leading competitor, evaluated Marvell FastLinQ 41000 Series use in a hyper-converged Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) cluster with SCM and NVMe storage, and weighed the benefits of upgrade by comparing 25GbE performance with 10GbE performance.
The 25GbE technology consistently outperformed the 10GbE technology for throughput in iSCSI tests in Linux and Windows environments.
The Marvell FastLinQ 41000 Series hardware iSCSI initiator usually achieved line rate throughput on read and write for all block sizes 4KB and above while the Linux software initiator on the Mellanox adapter was only able to consistently achieve line rate on writes.
The 25GbE Marvell FastLinQ 41000 Series 25GbE adapter achieved on average 126% more read throughput and 62% more write throughput than the same cluster using 10GbE in a S2D test.
Marvell’s ability to support both RoCE and iWARP RDMA provide customers with flexibility on their networking implementation which can reduce implementation time and/or simplify network complexity and management.