Intel I/OAT w/ WS08 @ 1/10 GigE + More Stuff


I'm back (er, yet again) from another blogging hiatus, and figured I'd share with you a little news around what we're doing in Windows Server 2008 with regards to Scalable Networking

Here's the news: our pals over at Intel recently launched a bunch of new Ethernet controllers that will "facilitate high traffic flow and optimize I/O performance" at 1 GigE and 10 GigE speeds.

These new controllers (focused on the Intel Xeon-based servers) support Intel's Scalable Networking (aka hardware-based network acceleration) technology -- I/OAT.  And, we've been working closely with Intel to make sure that the latest features of I/OAT will be supported in Windows Server 2008 (take it away Henry):

"Microsoft and Intel have worked closely to deliver integrated support for Intel I/OAT in the upcoming release of Windows Server 2008," said Henry Sanders, distinguished engineer and general manager of Microsoft Windows Networking. "Our mutual customers will benefit from the numerous enhancements in these products, resulting in even greater application performance and scalability on their multicore Intel® Xeon® processor-based Windows Servers."

Neat stuff! 

And, don't forget that I/OAT support (via our NetDMA features) is just one of many Scalable Networking (or "High Speed Networking" -- as the team seems to really want to call it) features you'll have out of the box with Windows Server 2008.  The others include TCP Chimney Offload w/ TOE NICs, Receive-side Scaling (YARSSA - Yet Another RSS Acronym), and IPsec task offload.

We are also giving a lot of thought about what the next full protocol, stateful offload we should deliver (i.e. what will be the next "Chimney Offload" offering).  IPsec is a key one for us (especially since you can stack IPsec Chimney Offload on top of TCP Chimney Offload and give your network performance both barrels! 

Hey, did you ever wonder where the term "Chimney" came from?  I believe our own Jim Pinkerton was the ultimate "father" of the term, but here's a bit of the background:

The term Chimney was coined by thinking of data transfer as smoke and a chimney as the ability to directly move smoke out (and in) without requiring the smoke to move through the intermediate floors (intermediate protocol layers).

Well, that's enough trivia and fun facts for today.  Time to get back to planning for the big global launch in February and getting WS08 out the door!

-- hama

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