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Giganet Introduces Virtual Interface for IP Networks

As bandwidth increases, servers process more information to send out on to the network. In addition to processing information sent to clients, machines have to perform instructions for sending packets onto the network.

Giganet Inc. (www.giganet.com) has developed Virtual Interface (VI) technology for offloading TCP/IP instructions to host bus adapters (HBAs), leaving CPUs free to perform their primary tasks. Giganet has already created VI HBAs for proprietary network standards; this is their entry into the IP networking world.

On small bandwidth networks, running at 10Mbs or 100Mbs, the network creates a bottleneck, so servers can easily process both application instructions and TCP/IP instructions while maxing out the network bandwidth. As bandwidth soars to 1Gbs and beyond, servers are becoming the bottleneck, struggling to process network and application instructions.

"TCP/IP is too slow and computation intensive to scale," says Gareth Taube, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Giganet, He says that an NT server performs about 7000 instructions to send a packet out onto the network. With bandwidth increasing by powers of ten, servers are becoming clogged with TCP/IP instructions.

Giganet’s solution is a HBA with processors built into the card to perform the computation intensive TCP/IP tasks. If implemented, servers will be able to focus their power onto their applications, and approach 100% network utilization.

Giganet’s first product will be a Gigabit Ethernet (1Gbs) HBA. In order to gain the full benefit of VI, applications must work with the VI APIs. - Christopher McConnell

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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