The Intel X540 family of products works with existing networks today. It works with legacy Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) switches and Cat 6A cabling. Install the Intel X540 adapter into a server and the auto-negotiation between 1GbE and 10GbE provides the necessary backwards compatibility that most customers require for a smooth transition and easy migration to 10GbE. When time and budget allows, 10GBase-T switches can be added any time to experience the full benefits of 10GbE.
10G performance at low cost and low power
The Intel Ethernet Converged Network Adapter X540 is the low cost way to deploy 10GbE in your data center today. The Intel X540 uses low cost, Cat 6 and Cat 6A cabling. Chances are this cabling already exists in the data center. A way for Intel to reduce cost and power is to integrate components into a single-chip solution. Of course, integration is what Intel does best. With the Intel X540 controller, the MAC and the PHY are integrated into a single-chip solution. With lower cost and power, 10GBase-T is ready for broad deployment. 10GBase-T is an option for every rack and tower server in the data center. The wait for a low cost 10GbE copper solution to broadly deploy 10GbE to all corners of the data center is over. The Intel X540 adapter provides bandwidth-intensive applications with highly affordable 10GbE network performance and cost-effective RJ-45 connectivity for distances up to 100 meters.
Flexible I/O virtualization
Virtualization changes the way server resources are deployed and managed by running multiple applications and operating systems independently on a single server. The Intel Ethernet Converged Network Adapter X540 includes Intel Virtualization Technology for connectivity (Intel VT-c) to deliver I/O virtualization and Quality of Service (QoS) features designed directly into the Intel X540 controller on the adapter. Intel I/O virtualization advances network connectivity models used in today's servers to more efficient models by providing FPP, multiple Rx/Tx queues, and on-controller QoS functionality that can be used in both virtual and non-virtual server deployments.
Flexible Port Partitioning (FPP)
By taking advantage of the PCI-SIG SR-IOV specification, Intel Ethernet products enable FPP. With FPP, virtual controllers can be used by the Linux host directly and/or assigned to virtual machines. FPP allows you to use the functionality of SR-IOV to assign up to 63 processes per port to virtual functions in Linux. This enables an administrator to partition their 10GbE bandwidth across multiple processes, ensuring a QoS by giving each assigned process equal bandwidth. Network administrators may also rate-limit each of these services to control how much of the 10GbE pipe is available to each process.
Unified networking solutions on the Intel Ethernet Converged Network Adapter X540 let you combine the traffic of multiple data center networks like LAN and SAN onto a single efficient network fabric. You now have the choice of NFS, iSCSI, or Fiber Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) to carry both network and storage traffic at speeds of up to 10 Gbps. The Intel X540 adapter combines support for all of these traffic types in one adapter at no additional cost and with no additional licensing fees for the adapter.
iSCSi simplifies SAN connectivity
iSCSI uses Ethernet to carry storage traffic, extending the familiarity and simplicity of Ethernet to storage networking, without the need for SAN-specific adapters or switches. Intel Ethernet X540 is the easy, reliable, and cost-effective way of connecting servers to iSCSI SANs.
Open FCoE consolidates LANs and legacy SANs
Intel's Open FCoE solution enables Intel' Ethernet 10 Gigabit server products (adapters and controllers) to support Fiber Channel payload encapsulated in Ethernet frames. There is no upgrade charge for Open FCoE on the adapter. Just as with iSCSI, now customers can easily connect to an FCoE network with Intel 10GbE solutions. For the first time, Open-FCoE is now supported on 10GBase-T. As 10GBase-T switches come to market enabled with FCoE support, the Intel X540 is ready when you're ready. This enables you to use cost-effective 10GBase-T for all your converged networking needs.
Data Center Bridging (DCB) delivers lossless Ethernet
Conventional Ethernet does not guarantee successful data delivery, which is not acceptable for SAN traffic. Ethernet enhancements such as Data Center Bridging (DCB) overcome that limitation with technologies that guarantee lossless delivery, congestion notification, priority-based flow control, and priority groups. The combination of 10GbE and unified networking helps organizations overcome connectivity challenges and simplify the data center infrastructure. 10GbE provides a simple, well-understood fabric for virtualized data centers, one that helps reduce cost and complexity as the number of virtual machines continues to grow.