November 17, 2008
24-Port SFP+ switch reference design introduces VantagePoint congestion management; makes datacenter Ethernet a cost-effective alternative to Fibre Channel
CALABASAS, Calif., Nov. 17 -- SC08 -- Fulcrum Microsystems' new Monaco platform is the first 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) OEM switch to offer lossless fabric switching, allowing Ethernet switch manufacturers to deliver Ethernet throughout the datacenter that can carry storage, clustering and networking traffic.
"For Ethernet to be successful in high performance computing and storage networking applications, it must deliver advanced congestion management to isolate data flows and provide lossless quality of service," said Simon Stanley, principal consultant of Earlswood Marketing and analyst for Light Reading's Components Insider.
Monaco features 24 SFP+ 10GbE switch ports and can deliver enhanced congestion management performance because it combines the low 300ns L3 latency provided by Fulcrum's FocalPoint silicon with VantagePoint, a new congestion management technology making its debut in the Monaco platform.
The VantagePoint technology enhances the FocalPoint switch features by providing a network-wide view of congestion, contention and traffic loads. It then uses IEEE 802.1Qau quantized congestion notification (QCN) and FocalPoint's IEEE 802.3x class-based pause congestion management capabilities to dynamically react to this global information.
The increased network efficiency from VantagePoint can have a dramatic throughput improvement in multi-stage fabrics providing lossless performance on par with Fibre Channel and InfiniBand. VantagePoint can also be optimized by Fulcrum customers to provide differentiated or application specific functionality.
The Monaco platform will make its debut at SC08 (Nov. 17-20, Austin, TX) in Fulcrum's booth #1845. Fulcrum will be showing a variety of technologies at the show including converged Ethernet fabrics and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE).
"Monaco gives every LAN switch company the ability to offer a datacenter Ethernet solution and capitalize on trends such as virtualization and network convergence, which are having a dramatic impact on enterprises as they look for ways to lower computing costs and power consumption," said Mike Zeile, president and chief operating officer for Fulcrum Microsystems.
The FocalPoint FM4224 layer-three switch/router 10GbE chip is the heart of the Monaco platform. FocalPoint is Fulcrum's family of 10GbE/1GbE switch/router chips that offer the industry's lowest latency, along with high port density and maximum scalability for networking, clustering and interconnect applications.
The platform is a 1U-high rack-mountable SFP+ chassis. These interfaces offer the ability to connect to external testers as well as computing and storage systems via a variety of NICs, CNAs and host controllers. The platform comes standard with Fulcrum's TestPoint software, and customers have the option of leveraging the ControlPoint software suite, a family of Ethernet bridging, switching and routing software modules that are integrated into a flexible and extensible Linux framework.
Monaco is the latest in Fulcrum's series of reference designs, which enable customers to get to market quickly with integrated, low cost and differentiated product offerings. Monaco accelerates both hardware and software development by offering a full-featured platform for software design and test prior to the availability of the switch, thereby enabling customers to quickly deploy their own customized design.
Other FocalPoint reference platforms include the 24-port "Reno" 10 Gigabit Ethernet platform and the 48-port "Vegas" 1 Gigabit Ethernet platform.
The Monaco platform is available now from Fulcrum's sales force and resellers worldwide, and is priced at $20,000.
About Fulcrum Microsystems
Fulcrum Microsystems Inc. is a fabless semiconductor company that has developed the FocalPoint family of 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) switch/router chips for next-generation datacenter fabric designs. FocalPoint devices offer the industry's lowest latency combined with the fine-grained flow control and high throughput required for converged datacenter fabrics. With its ControlPoint network OS, Fulcrum offers a complete solution along with a worldwide ecosystem of partners from which storage and clustering system designers can drive adoption of 10GE as the fabric of choice for a fully converged datacenter. More information can be found at www.fulcrummicro.com.
Source: Fulcrum Microsystems Inc.
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