On the Bench, Ep 25 | Life After Fiber Channel

Is Your Network Fast and Up-to-Date for Your Workflows?

Editorial speeds and feeds are getting ever larger, and the demand for footage from 8k cameras (with 16K hovering in the distance), and HFR…and HDR is increasing. At some point, you’re probably going to find yourself looking for solutions to improve your workflow. If you’re ready to consider a low latency ethernet solution, then today’s show is for you.

Time to Ditch Fiber Channel and Give Ethernet Another Look…

In this episode, we’re taking a look at the fastest switches available to mere mortals — brought to you by Mellanox Technologies. Coupled with their direct attach splitter cables, we talk about how you can turn a 16 port switch into a 64 port switch. We’re going to show you how Mellanox has you covered today and well into the future.

By providing high-speed data transfer with ZERO packet loss, the Mellanox Ethernet switches are the only solution that makes the best of both high performance and lossless. So let’s put Mellanox on the bench and see what they’re hiding inside. 

When was the last time you bought a network switch?
Did you only buy what was needed?

At this point in time, we should all be running gigabit, and many of you are only just buying into 10GbE. How often can we look into the crystal ball and see beyond the current technology to what it will soon become, and say “Can I have that now?” Now, you can take advantage of the rare opportunity to buy for the future with Mellanox Technologies.

Mellanox began in 1999 with a focus on InfiniBand — which at the time, was the fastest element on earth — at least for carrying data. In order to make the fastest data transfers possible, they chose not to use the existing chip sets available on the market, but build their own design from the ground up to ensure the fastest performance and the lowest latency. Mellanox later took what they learned in the InfiniBand world, and transferred it to Ethernet. They currently offer the fastest, highest performing ethernet switches available in the “known universe”.  

Now that you know why the Mellanox switching platform is better than the rest — let’s discuss how Mellanox makes crystal ball gazing today’s reality. 

Mellanox

Mellanox Technologies Ethernet Switches

When gigabit first hit, sharing media across the network finally became a reality. It was fast enough to edit proxies and compressed formats, but not without enough hiccups to keep users on Fiber channel. Then 10GbE became more affordable, and now we see it as a standard in many edit suites, on the new Mac, and in many storage arrays. For the past few years, 25GbE has been looming, but only for those with discretionary spending cash.

Did you know that 40, 50 and even 100Gb ethernet is now available? You won’t find it at your local electronics warehouse, but you will find it on these switches from Mellanox. Let’s explore the SN2100 and SN2010 switches — plus a sampling of cables to make it all work.

SN2100SN2100 the Ideal Storage Switch

With 16 ports of 100GbE, the SN2100 is  Faster Than Lightspeed ethernet — capable of burning a hole in your patchbay. There are few systems that can take advantage of Ethernet this fast. Mainly, NVMe storage arrays running software layers like Excelero’s NVMesh. These are pure SSD arrays that skip the SATA interface and shoot straight for the warp drive of the PCIe bus. Excelero’s Nvmesh allows the downstream computers to mount and manage the unheard of speeds getting forced down their pipes.  

I know what you are going to say, “I don’t have anything that can handle 100GbE right now.” But even though each and every port on the SN2100 can be used as a 100GbE — it can also be used as a 50, 40, 25 or even a 10GbE port — so you can now buy an ethernet switch that will take you from 0 to 100. Literally ensuring you are covered for now and whatever comes next.

Now, let’s talk about port count. If Moore’s law states that more is always better and all you need is 16 ports, then why not get 32? Who knows what the future holds and how many ports you will need. You may end up needing 64 10GbE ports.  

Mellanox developed their ports and some amazing cables to split each 100GbE port so that it can be used for more than one connection. With their octopus cable, using QSFP technology, you can connect (4) 10GbE or (4) 25 or even (2) 50GbE downstream devices — so this switch with 16 ports of 100GbE can transform into a 64 25GbE or 10GbE switch — all in a half rack design.

SN2010 the Ideal Switch for M&E

Now, let’s talk about the SN2010. After all the info we shared on the SN2100,  if you’re not convinced you need that much speed but you want to know that your next flux capacitor will still be able to connect to the switch, the SN2010 offers 18 ports of 10/25GbE, but also has (4) 100GbE ports that support 40GbE and 100GbE. This means that you can upgrade your storage array — giving it a fast lane to the editors with the fewest connections. Again, you’re still covering yourself for what is for sure coming. 

A few years ago, 4K editorial was a pipe dream for most of us, but when was the last time you bought a standard HD camera? 4K is now the norm — just as 8K and even 16K will eventually be. With Mellanox, you can prepare for your future and focus on what you’re going to create, not how to make it possible.

LEARN MORE ‣ Mellanox Technologies

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About Mellanox Technologies

Mellanox Technologies is a leading supplier of end-to-end, high-performance, efficient Ethernet interconnect solutions for demanding postproduction environments. Mellanox 10/25/40/50/100GbE interconnect solutions provide the highest throughput and lowest latency for HD, 4K, and 8K workflows.

Build an efficient Ethernet Fabric with Mellanox:

  • Mellanox ConnectX network adapters provide highest performance and lowest latency. The current generation ConnectX cards deliver 200M messages/second throughout and 600ns latency. In addition, ConnectX cards feature intelligent hardware offloads such as RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE) and NVMe-over-Fabrics (NVMe-oF), to accelerate storage workloads and significantly improve the CPU utilization for M&E workflows.
  • Mellanox Spectrum switches deliver line-rate throughput and lowest latency from 10Gb/s to 100Gb/s network speeds, with regard to fastest storage devices. With zero avoidable packet loss, combined with superior congestion management for RoCE, Spectrum switches provide a lossless and transparent network fabric that ensures the guaranteed delivery of post-production content in most demanding environments.

Ethernet vs. Fiber Channel for Data Processing and Storage

While 10/25Gbe outpaces 8/16G Fiber Channel, people may be concerned with “lossy” Ethernet vs. “lossless” Fiber Channel, because we are talking about data process and storage! By providing high-speed data transfer with ZERO packet loss, the Mellanox Ethernet switches are the only solution that makes the best of both (high performance and lossless).  |  Mellanox.com

 

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By |2018-08-14T06:49:47+00:00August 14th, 2018|Excelero, Mellanox Technologies|Comments Off on On the Bench, Ep 25 | Life After Fiber Channel