Chelsio Storage over IP and other Networks Enable Data Infrastructures

August 18, 2017 – 11:33 am
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Chelsio Storage over IP Enable Data Infrastructures

server storage I/O data infrastructure trends

Chelsio and Storage over IP (SoIP) continue to enable Data Infrastructures from legacy to software defined virtual, container, cloud as well as converged. This past week I had a chance to visit with Chelsio to discuss data infrastructures, server storage I/O networking along with other related topics. More on Chelsio later in this post, however, for now lets take a quick step back and refresh what is SoIP (Storage over IP) along with Storage over Ethernet (among other networks).

Data Infrastructures Protect Preserve Secure and Serve Information
Various IT and Cloud Infrastructure Layers including Data Infrastructures

Server Storage over IP Revisited

There are many variations of SoIP from network attached storage (NAS) file based processing including NFS, SAMBA/SMB (aka Windows File sharing) among others. In addition there is various block such as SCSI over IP (e.g. iSCSI), along with object via HTTP/HTTPS, not to mention the buzzword bingo list of RoCE, iSER, iWARP, RDMA, DDPK, FTP, FCoE, IFCP, and SMB3 direct to name a few.

Who is Chelsio

For those who are not aware or need a refresher, Chelsio is involved with enabling server storage I/O by creating ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) that do various functions offloading those from the host server processor. What this means for some is a throw back to the early 2000s of the TCP Offload Engine (TOE) era where various processing to handle regular along with iSCSI and other storage over Ethernet and IP could be accelerated.

Chelsio data infrastructure focus

Chelsio ecosystem across different data infrastructure focus areas and application workloads

As seen in the image above, certainly there is a server and storage I/O network play with Chelsio, along with traffic management, packet inspection, security (encryption, SSL and other offload), traditional, commercial, web, high performance compute (HPC) along with high profit or productivity compute (the other HPC). Chelsio also enables data infrastructures that are part of physical bare metal (BM), software defined virtual, container, cloud, serverless among others.

Chelsio server storage I/O focus

The above image shows how Chelsio enables initiators on server and storage appliances as well as targets via various storage over IP (or Ethernet) protocols.

Chelsio enabling various data center resources

Chelsio also plays in several different sectors from *NIX to Windows, Cloud to Containers, Various processor architectures and hypervisors.

Chelsio ecosystem

Besides diverse server storage I/O enabling capabilities across various data infrastructure environments, what caught my eye with Chelsio is how far they, and storage over IP have progressed over the past decade (or more). Granted there are faster underlying networks today, however the offload and specialized chip sets (e.g. ASICs) have also progressed as seen in the above and next series of images via Chelsio.

The above showing TCP and UDP acceleration, the following show Microsoft SMB 3.1.1 performance something important for doing Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) and Windows-based Converged Infrastructure (CI) along with Hyper Converged Infrastructures (HCI) deployments.

Chelsio software environments

Something else that caught my eye was iSCSI performance which in the following shows 4 initiators accessing a single target doing about 4 million IOPs (reads and writes), various size and configurations. Granted that is with a 100Gb network interface, however it also shows that potential bottlenecks are removed enabling that faster network to be more effectively used.

Chelsio server storage I/O performance

Moving on from TCP, UDP and iSCSI, NVMe and in particular NVMe over Fabric (NVMeoF) have become popular industry topics so check out the following. One of my comments to Chelsio is to add host or server CPU usage to the following chart to help show the story and value proposition of NVMe in general to do more I/O activity while consuming less server-side resources. Lets see what they put out in the future.

Chelsio

Ok, so Chelsio does storage over IP, storage over Ethernet and other interfaces accelerating performance, as well as regular TCP and UDP activity. One of the other benefits of what Chelsio and others are doing with their ASICs (or FPGA by some) is to also offload processing for security among other topics. Given the increased focus around server storage I/O and data infrastructure security from encryption to SSL and related usage that requires more resources, these new ASIC such as from Chelsio help to offload various specialized processing from the server.

The customer benefit is that more productive application work can be done by their servers (or storage appliances). For example, if you have a database server, that means more product ivy data base transactions per second per licensed software. Put another way, want to get more value out of your Oracle, Microsoft or other vendors software licenses, simple, get more work done per server that is licensed by offloading and eliminate waits or other bottlenecks.

Using offloads and removing server bottlenecks might seem like common sense however I’m still amazed that the number of organizations who are more focused on getting extra value out of their hardware vs. getting value out of their software licenses (which might be more expensive).

Chelsio

Where To Learn More

Learn more about related technology, trends, tools, techniques, and tips with the following links.

Data Infrastructures Protect Preserve Secure and Serve Information
Various IT and Cloud Infrastructure Layers including Data Infrastructures

What This All Means

Data Infrastructures exist to protect, preserve, secure and serve information along with the applications and data they depend on. With more data being created at a faster rate, along with the size of data becoming larger, increased application functionality to transform data into information means more demands on data infrastructures and their underlying resources.

This means more server I/O to storage system and other servers, along with increased use of SoIP as well as storage over Ethernet and other interfaces including NVMe. Chelsio (and others) are addressing the various application and workload demands by enabling more robust, productive, effective and efficient data infrastructures.

Check out Chelsio and how they are enabling storage over IPO (SoIP) to enable Data Infrastructures from legacy to software defined virtual, container, cloud as well as converged, oh, and thanks Chelsio for being able to use the above images.

Ok, nuff said, for now.
Gs

Greg Schulz – Multi-year Microsoft MVP Cloud and Data Center Management, VMware vExpert (and vSAN). Author of Software Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials (CRC Press), as well as Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press), Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier) and twitter @storageio.

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