OEM Solutions

Flexible Network Adaptors To Meet Modern Data Center Demands

The demands on the network for reliability, bandwidth, low latency, and security are extreme, as are the pressures to simplify IT and reduce costs. Transforming the economics and expectations of the data center begins with HPE ProLiant, BladeSystem, Apollo, and HPE Synergy servers, with built-in intelligence to deliver maximum performance and reliability while simplifying management. But the server is only the beginning of the story when it comes to simplifying IT infrastructure and reducing costs. 

Whether purchasing a new ProLiant Gen10 server platform or upgrading existing infrastructure with the latest server networking configuration, HPE’s ecosystem provides a seamless solution from the switch to the network interface cards (NIC).  The HPE ProLiant, Apollo and Synergy family of servers offer a broad range of networking options designed to address the challenging demands of today’s data center. 


The HPE Advantage-Get the best performance and energy efficiency of your network 

Today’s business places a great deal of pressure on IT. The network traffic needs to be flowing at the highest possible performance with the lowest possible energy consumption all while keeping an eye on the ever-shrinking budget. The current HPE server platforms support innovative FlexibleLOM architecture, standard NICs, and converged network adapters (CNAs) for maximum workload performance and deployment flexibility. 

The HPE portfolio of Standard Ethernet, Advanced FlexFabric, and Performance Multispeed Network Adapters leverage a variety of third-party vendor technology, including 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE), 20 Gigabit Ethernet (20GbE), and 25 Gigabit Ethernet (25GbE) technologies, providing best-in-class server-to-fabric networking solutions. HPE is also the first in the industry to offer customers the ability to incorporate 20GbE adapter technology, with offerings of HPE BladeSystem and HPE Synergy servers. 


Maximize Throughput

Applications that require maximum throughput for cloud computing include streaming video and audio, large data transfers between servers, load-balancing, failover, high-resolution graphics, database and backup. However, data centers architected using a traditional three-layer hierarchical structure are not well suited for cloud environments. In a hierarchical structure, when performance improvements are needed, more servers are simply added. Even though the inherent limitations of this architecture—scalability, cost, and complexity—are evident, organizations reluctantly continue to employ this approach. Economics, or in simpler terms “costs,” often dictate the level of performance optimization that can be implemented using the traditional architecture. While the three-layer architecture is sufficient with past computing models, it neither effectively nor efficiently supports emerging public and private cloud computing models without creating operational, performance, and scaling challenges. 

As a result, there has been an emerging shift in data center design. The traditional, vertically-oriented multi-tier architecture—tailored for north-south data traffic, is giving way to a new simpler, flatter, and meshed architecture model. This architecture is suited for server-to-server (east-west) communication within the data center itself. Simply put, with an “east-west” architecture, the intra-data center (server-to-server) communication will significantly increase. Therefore, deployment of a high-performance networking infrastructure is critical. Deploying the right hardware to provide sufficient network capacity on the server edge is critical—the greater the server’s data throughput capabilities, the better the network will perform. 

This is where the HPE Flexible Network FlexFabric and Converged Network Adapters (CNA) powered by the QLogic 578x0S controllers come into play. The QLogic 578x0S controllers have demonstrated greater large block I/O networking performance, delivering line-rate performance up to 37,000 Mbps. 

Performance is enhanced on the HPE Ethernet 25GbE adapter from QLogic by the addition of support for Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) and Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK). This 4x25GbE adapter supports RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE) which provides direct memory access to Ethernet data. It greatly reduces latency and is ideal for use in high-performance compute environments, financial and other applications where I/O latency impacts application performance. For customers with custom applications, like those in the NFV (Network Function Virtualization) space, oil and gas or financial sectors, support for DPDK improves the small packet I/O performance over the Ethernet network. 


Enhance utilization 

Data center operational costs have a significant impact on businesses and IT administrators are consistently tasked to reduce costs and increase asset utilization. Traditionally, data center servers used were dedicated, which meant they were over-provisioned and under-utilized. 

HPE Flexible Network Adapters powered by QLogic technology improve processor utilization (to less than 15 percent) through a combination of hardware and stateless offload features (see figure 2). However, the benefits of HPE Flexible Network Adapters using the QLogic offload features go beyond just improving performance and workload processing. These features also help reduce energy consumption. 

Free up more resources for application processing 

Converging application data and storage data onto the same network simplifies the installation and management of the network infrastructure. Much of the world’s data transfer begins and ends with an Ethernet connection. IT professionals who are looking for higher capacity and performance solutions can rely on the HPE ProLiant, Apollo and Synergy Servers with HPE FlexFabric adapters and CNAs from QLogic to deliver the highest levels of performance. 


Reduce energy consumption with Energy Efficient Ethernet 

Historically, energy consumption was not a significant consideration for data center design. However, over the past decade, a data-hungry world brought energy to the forefront of data center design considerations. As data center became larger and larger, energy consumption consumes a larger portion of an organization’s operational expenses (OPEX). Some data centers reached the point where sourcing energy is the challenge—not enough power can be delivered to fully operate the computing and cooling resources within the data center. As a result, energy efficiency has become a factor in selecting the computing and networking building blocks needed for the data center.

 To further drive energy conservation within the data center, the Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE) standard was developed to help IT administrators reduce the energy consumption of Ethernet-attached devices within their networks. Examples of such devices include Ethernet adapters and Ethernet switches. A key feature of the EEE standard is called low power idle (LPI). As the name implies, when the Ethernet device is in an idle state (no data transmission activity), non-essential components of the Ethernet interface are placed in a low power state (sleep mode). A wake-up signal sent by the link partner allows the sleeping Ethernet device time to prepare for receipt of an incoming Ethernet data frame. EEE makes network energy conservation seamless and effective. 


Benefit from long-standing industry leadership 

1. Seamless integration with the HPE management framework

  • The HPE portfolio of Flexible Network Adapters using Ethernet controllers from QLogic that can be managed using the HPE ProLiant Insight 

2. Control management framework and HPE OneView management software – Monitor and manage infrastructure with one simple, integrated interface 

3. Seamless integration and ease of management with HPE Flex-10 and Flex-20 technology

  • HPE solutions using QLogic controllers hold the majority share of 10GbE Flex-10 ports deployed in data centers 


 Maximize performance and flexibility for demanding workloads

 HPE Flexible Network Adapters and CNAs powered by controllers from QLogic provide 10GbE and 20GbE network connectivity for the HPE ProLiant, Apollo, and Synergy Server families. These solutions are available on the mezzanine, standard NIC, and innovative HPE FlexibleLOM form factors. They deliver maximum performance for demanding workload environments and superior flexibility for management and deployment. 


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