Solarflare Announces Support for Citrix XenServer and Open Virtual Switch

First network adapter vendor to deliver accelerated performance and integrated control of open virtual switched infrastructure for enterprise class clouds

IRVINE, Calif.: Solarflare, the leader in standards-based 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) network adapters, silicon and middleware, announced today support for Citrix XenServer®, offering near-native performance for 10GbE network traffic to virtual machines using standards-based hardware I/O virtualization with its SFN5000 Enterprise Server Adapter Product Family. Citrix and Solarflare customers can immediately leverage the SFN5000 Solarflare products to enable direct guest access to the network, delivering four to five fold improvements in application performance.

Solarflare also announced that it is the first vendor to offer hardware acceleration for the new open source virtual switch included with the upcoming version of Citrix XenServer (see today’s related announcement from Citrix). The Open Virtual Switch is a powerful open source virtual switch developed by Citrix and the open source community for Xen®- and Linux-based virtual infrastructures. The project has developed an advanced open source Virtual Ethernet Bridge (VEB) that performs as a standard IEEE 802.1Q bridge and interoperates with all existing network bridges and adapters with no changes to the existing Ethernet frame format. The Open Virtual Switch offers a powerful, programmable switch forwarding and filtering capability via programmable per-virtual interface access control lists (ACLs) to filter, forward, transform or block network traffic that passes through the virtual switch. This, in turn, enables the ability to enforce quality of service and traffic policing, as well as multi-tenancy for cloud infrastructure. Solarflare’s acceleration support for Open Virtual Switch will increase the throughput of switched traffic between virtual machines two to three fold. This enables IT and data center managers to deploy completely virtualized data center solutions without compromising performance, while also leveraging a virtualized switched network and a rich set of Layer 2 and Layer 3 control plane and management functions.

“XenServer has become the preferred virtual infrastructure choice for customers building private or multi-tenant clouds,” said Simon Crosby, CTO, Datacenter and Cloud Division at Citrix. “The Solarflare SFN5000 Enterprise 10GbE Server Adapter product family enables hardware offload of per-virtual interface packet processing for the Open Virtual Switch in XenServer, and gives customers the full performance of hardware based I/O virtualization with multi-tenancy and granular per-application SLAs, in a fully standards-compliant Virtualized Ethernet Bridge. The solution supports the same open, industry-standard management interface as the Open Virtual Switch, and represents a powerful addition to any cloud requiring granular control of high-performance networking.”

“Solarflare’s track record of innovation is second to none,” remarked Duncan Johnston-Watt, CEO, Cloudsoft. “Their acceleration support for the Open Virtual Switch is just the latest in a series of advances, delivering the performance and control within the virtual networking fabric that will drive the deployment of enterprise class cloud infrastructure. We continue to reap the benefits of their participation as a network supplier in our Monterey partner program.”

“We’re excited to further expand our partnership efforts and sync our roadmap with Citrix and Cloudsoft, as we look to improve our common customers’ networking performance in today’s virtualized environments,” said Bruce Tolley, VP of solutions marketing. “Due to Solarflare’s unique hardware-assisted virtualization architecture, we can scale our virtualization performance to address the latest market demands.”

Solarflare is currently shipping to customers the SFN5000 line of 10GbE server adapters, the industry’s lowest-power 10GbE adapters that support twinax direct attach, 10GBASE-T for installed twisted pair cabling and SFP+ for installed optical fiber media. Featuring hardware-assisted support for virtualization, the SFN5000 family currently has the most mature and highest-performing virtualization solution on the market, delivering up to five times the application performance of other server adapters by accelerating virtual I/O for Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware. The SFN5122F also possesses the industry’s most scalable virtualization architecture, supporting up to 128 virtual functions and up to 1024 virtual NICs per port, 16 times greater scalability than conventional approaches.