Move Data Faster with Intel® Ethernet

Data is being generated everywhere – from sensors distributed across smart cities, to autonomous driving, to mobile. Our need to generate, analyze, and store data is insatiable. Given the workload demands of today’s data centers, efficiently moving data is just as important as processing and storing the data itself. You really can’t have one without the other.

To meet these connectivity needs, Intel has created world-class network interface controllers (NICs) and adapters starting with the Intel® Ethernet 500 Series and Intel® Ethernet 700 Series, with speeds up to 40GbE. Today, Intel is proud to announce the next generation of this foundational networking technology, the Intel® Ethernet 800 Series with speeds up to 100GbE and featuring many new innovative capabilities. Coupled with 2nd Generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors, Intel® Optane™ DC persistent memory, and Intel® SSDs, service providers can ensure their platforms are optimized for breakthrough data processing and movement.

In network technology, Intel’s trademark is reliability and compatibility and backed by Intel’s world class support. In addition, the new Intel Ethernet 800 Series, in production in Q3’19, features several advanced capabilities including new Application Device Queues (ADQ) and enhanced Dynamic Device Personalization (DDP), among other innovations.

“Stay in Your Lane” with Application Device Queues (ADQ)

ADQ is a queuing, prioritization, and steering technology to improve application performance and predictability. ADQ filters and isolates application traffic into specific hardware queues of dedicated lanes, which optimally connects them to application specific threads of execution. This increases predictability in application response time, reduces application latency, and improves application throughput.

ADQ is akin to directing automotive traffic on a highway. For example, if you’re trying to get to the airport during rush hour, there might be several options, but depending on road conditions, you could be delayed and miss your flight. Therefore, you must allow enough time for the longest scenario to ensure you make your flight on time. But if there was a dedicated route with no disruptions, you could more accurately predict your drive time, get there quicker, and spend less time waiting at the airport (Fig. 1). This is what ADQ brings to networking – dedicated express lanes for your high priority application traffic.

Intel Ethernet
Figure 1

With ADQ, you can add more servers to parallelize a task or support more end-users with existing hardware. During testing in Intel’s labs, ADQ was able increase application response time predictability by over 50% (by reducing the variability in application response time, known as “jitter”),  lower latency by over 45% and increase throughput by more than 30% in a Redis* open source database1, an application widely used by cloud service providers. In addition to Redis, many applications will benefit from ADQ including Aerospike*, NGINX*, Memcached*, and others to soon follow.

Dynamic Device Personalization (DDP)

The number of network protocols has increased significantly due to network edge processing, network function virtualization (NFV), and security encryption in the datacenter. This dramatically increased the number of protocols network adapters need to support in order to enhance network efficiency and performance.

To address the increased number of protocols, the network controllers and adapters need to be programmable, to build on or modify the default protocol support and to meet the deployment specific requirements. DDP allows dynamic reconfiguration of the packet processing pipeline to meet specific protocol use case needs on demand. By adding new packet processing pipeline configuration profiles to a network adapter at run time, without resetting or rebooting the server, DDP can look deeper into the packets to direct them to their destination faster, lower latency, increase throughput and allow better CPU utilization for other more important tasks. In a Broadband Remote Access Server (BRAS) aggregated forwarding test in Intel’s labs, DDP enabled up to 70% more upstream processing performance.2

Bringing application predictability with Application Device Queues (ADQ), plus dynamic support for a wide-variety of network protocols with Dynamic Device Personalization (DDP), the new Intel Ethernet 800 Series is designed to meet the most demanding server tasks. On top of 100GbE data transfer rates and Intel’s extensive compatibility testing, the new Ethernet series is a best-in-class connectivity product that contributes to an infrastructure that will remain competitive as IT needs scale. Intel will continue to innovate on a wide range of connectivity technologies that benefit the broader server industry, optimizing workloads across the full spectrum of compute, storage, and networking.

For more information, visit intel.com/ethernet.


1 Performance results are based on Intel internal testing as of February 2019, and may not reflect all publicly available security updates. See configuration disclosure for details. No product or component can be absolutely secure. Tests performed using Redis Open Source on 2nd Generation Intel® Xeon Scalable processors and Intel® Ethernet 800 series 100GbE on Linux 4.19.18 kernel. For complete configuration information see the Performance Testing Application Device Queues (ADQ) with Redis Solution Brief. http:/www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/architecture-and-technology/ethernet/application-device-queues-with-redis-brief.html

2 Performance results are based on Intel internal testing as of November 2017, and may not reflect all publicly available security updates. See configuration disclosure for details. No product or component can be absolutely secure. See http://cat.intel.com/LaunchLink.aspx?LinkID=4047 for configuration details. Features and schedule are subject to change.

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Mike Zeile

About Mike Zeile

Vice President, Data Center Group. GM, High-Performance Fabrics Division, Connectivity Group, leads the Strategy and Marketing team for CG, which is responsible for developing a DCG-wide strategy for leadership connectivity products, solutions and IP. Zeile joined Intel in 2011 through the company’s acquisition of Fulcrum Microsystems. After the acquisition, he led planning for DCG networking products, initially within the Networking Division, and later as a member of the DCG Strategic Planning organization. Before the acquisition, Zeile served as COO to Fulcrum Microsystems, responsible for all operational aspects of business for the company. He has published a number of papers on networking technology, trends and architectures and he holds process patents related to networking and the secure storage and delivery of value items over the internet. Zeile holds a Bachelor’s degree in business with an emphasis on computer science from UCLA.