Emulex Supports Microsoft Windows Server 2012 with I/O Connectivity and Performance Management

Emulex Corporation (NYSE: ELX) today announced that its LightPulse® 16Gb Fibre Channel (16GFC) Host Bus Adapters (HBAs) and prior generations of I/O connectivity solutions have inbox driver support with the release of Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Server 2012, delivering more than a million input/output operations per second (IOPS) on a single port, the highest level of Fibre Channel adapter performance available today, which is needed for the pervasive deployment of virtualization and public and private cloud infrastructures. Emulex inbox 16GFC driver support, combined with Emulex LightPulse Virtual HBA technology and the recent integration of Emulex OneCommand® Vision for Windows Server 2012 customers, allows cloud and virtual workloads to efficiently scale by dedicating logical resources to guest applications over a shared physical I/O and storage infrastructure.

“Emulex provides I/O connectivity solutions spanning generations of protocols, as well as I/O management for Windows 2012 users,” said Shaun Walsh, senior vice president of marketing and corporate development, Emulex. “As enterprises transition workloads to private and public cloud infrastructures, this high speed connectivity and comprehensive visibility into network and storage traffic becomes a critical element in successful, high-performance virtualized and cloud data centers.”

Emulex 16GFC adapters are built for the most demanding cloud and virtualized environments and have unsurpassed field-proven reliability with over 12 million ports shipped worldwide to date. Emulex 16GFC adapters are the highest performing adapters on the market today, delivering more than a million IOPS on a single port1 and slashing the response time by 75 percent compared to its 8GFC predecessor.2

“Windows Server 2012 is designed for the evolving data center that is transitioning from virtualized to shared public or private cloud environments. The ability to process data efficiently with visibility throughout the infrastructure is now a crucial success factor for achieving desired virtual machine (VM) densities,” said Sandeep Singhal, general manager, Windows Networking, Microsoft. “Emulex is supporting this evolution with high performance connectivity solutions for Windows Server 2012 that provide tight integration and compatibility with existing infrastructures and promote the transition to software-defined networking.”

Emulex I/O technology and management addresses the following virtualized data center needs:

  • 16GFC In-Box Drivers: Emulex LightPulse 16GFC in-box driver support for Windows Server 2012 enables virtualized platforms to scale cloud and VM density to reduce costs.
  • Support for Highly Virtualized and Shared Cloud Environments: Emulex 16GFC adapters feature industry-leading performance with significantly increased IOPS and twice the data throughput of 8GFC adapters3 for highly virtualized data centers; greater VM density required for shared public and private cloud deployments; and the performance needed to match current and next-generation Intel servers with optimized handling of very large multi-core configurations.
  • Increasing VM Densities: Emulex 16GFC adapters leverage Emulex vScale™ for superior scalability in Windows Server 2012 environments, supporting up to 255 virtual functions (VFs); 1024 Message Signal Interrupts Extended (MSI-X) and 8192 concurrent logins and open exchanges, up to four times the number supported by competing 16GFC HBAs,3 enabling support for more VMs per server than ever before. Integration with Emulex LightPulse Virtual adapter technology provides virtual port management within Microsoft System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager, allowing cloud and virtual workloads to efficiently scale by dedicating connectivity to shared storage.
  • Time-Saving I/O Management: With a single driver model, the Emulex 16GFC adapters can be controlled, configured and managed from a single console using Emulex OneCommand® Manager, enabling enterprise scalability with time-saving features that provide more than twice the adapter management functionality and take half the time to install and manage compared to other I/O solutions.4.
  • Proactive I/O Management: Through Emulex OneCommand Vision, customers gain proactive I/O management, maximized I/O resource utilization and enhanced performance and availability by monitoring and analyzing critical I/O performance metrics, all from the applications perspective using the Operations Manager component of System Center 2012. The new release of OneCommand Vision 3.0 expands device support to include Direct
  • Attached Storage (DAS) and logical storage devices and integrates seamlessly with the OneCommand Manager plug-in for Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V.
  • Backward Compatibility: For customers leveraging 8GFC technology within Windows Server 2012, upgrading is simple, with full backward compatibility, a common driver stack and management tools across multiple generations of I/O connectivity products.

The development of Network Virtualization using Generic Routing Encapsulation (NVGRE) is another area in which Emulex is collaborating with Microsoft. The NVGRE protocol enables overlay networks, which allow virtualized workloads to seamlessly communicate or move across server clusters and data center boundaries. NVGRE has been designed to enable the efficient and fluid movement of virtual resources across cloud infrastructures in order to pave the way for large-scale and cloud-based VM deployments. Demand for overlay networking is being driven by the need to reduce the costs of deploying and managing virtualized server workloads and hybrid cloud deployments. At TechEd 2012, Emulex and Microsoft showed a prototype FPGA technology demonstration of NVGRE.