Silverback iSCSI Chip Rocks

Giving a boost to IP storage and the recently adopted iSCSI standard, Silverback Systems this week announced a Fibre Channel-like benchmark of 92,000
IOPS (I/Os per second) per single Gigabit Ethernet port. The benchmark was performed on Silverback’s dual-port iSNAP 2100 Storage Network Access Processor.

“This verifiable benchmark, the first by any storage silicon vendor, demonstrates iSCSI performance for database and OLTP traffic,” the
company claimed.

“With numbers like these, the iSCSI naysayers best look for a new technology to pick on,” said Steve Duplessie, founder and senior analyst of Enterprise Storage Group. “If Silverback can continue to deliver this kind of performance, iSCSI adoption won’t be a question of why, but when.”

“This performance result will help validate iSCSI’s role in networking storage traffic,” said Jag Bolaria, senior analyst for the Linley Group. “This is the first time that an iSCSI silicon vendor has shown performance that can handle OLTP traffic profiles.”

iSCSI, the IP-based storage networking standard, was adopted last month.

The Silverback performance metric was reached by using the Iometer benchmark developed by Intel. Iometer is an analysis tool for servers that measures I/O performance while stressing the system with a controlled workload. Recent Fibre Channel HBA (host bus adapter) announcements have been 60,000-90,000 IOPS per port, Silverback said.

The iSNAP architecture is optimized for processing network protocols like TCP/IP in addition to storage-specific Upper Layer Protocols (ULP) such as iSCSI, Silverback said. iSNAP offers complete off-load of TCP/IP and ULP, which allows customers to focus their engineering resources on value-added applications and services, the company said.

The iSNAP product family consists of a complete package — including iSNAP, firmware, Linux driver and HBA-like evaluation board — intended to address all the requirements of the IP-based networked storage market.

Silverback is also one of the independent hardware vendors (IHVs) taking part in Microsoft’s iSCSI program.

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Paul Shread
eSecurity Editor Paul Shread has covered nearly every aspect of enterprise technology in his 20+ years in IT journalism, including an award-winning series on software-defined data centers. He wrote a column on small business technology for, and covered financial markets for 10 years, from the dot-com boom and bust to the 2007-2009 financial crisis. He holds a market analyst certification.

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