Networking solutions vendor QLogic had a major product update today, announcing a new vendor-agnostic NIC partitioning (NPAR) feature. It’s rolling out on the QLogic 3200 Series intelligent Ethernet adapters and 8200 Series converged network adapters, which are powered by VMflex. These are available to resellers immediately.
VMflex is an I/O virtualization solution that promises to reduce the amount of strain a virtual OS puts on hardware (both in terms of workload and cost) to avoid bottlenecks, and enhance provisioning by adding more VM portability. One of the ways VMflex does so is by providing the OS direct access to resources rather than going through the hypervisor.
This is ideal in a high-density virtualized environment because it removes some I/O limitations constraining the number of virtual machines that can be deployed, but it’s not available to all major operating systems yet: the reason QLogic launched the new functionality.
“To address the gap between present and future, QLogic built the powerful NPAR feature into VMflex. NPAR allows users to divide a single physical Ethernet port into four partitions or virtual ports with the capability to run TCP/IP, Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) or iSCSI on any of the virtual ports in a converged environment.”
QLogic has been busy expanding recently, which includes a significant release of several upgraded offerings and new additions to its networking portfolio last month. Alongside performance tweaks QLogic’s Adaptive Convergence line-up now features support for 16Gb converged fibre channel and 10Gb Ethernet protocols, and the FlexSuite product family is now better poised to power virtualized environments.
Virtualization is driving networking innovation, an increasingly notable trend Wikibon’s Stuart Miniman analyzed in a September post. He looked into the state of the market, as well as the individual vendors that are driving it.