Cavium: QLogic Gen 6 FC and FastLinQ Ethernet Adapters With NVMe over Fabrics Support

Enabling scale-out of flash storage platforms
This is a Press Release edited by on 2017.05.18

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Cavium, Inc. announced that its family of QLogic Gen 6 FC and FastLinQ Ethernet adapters will support NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF) technology, enabling the scale out of flash storage platforms.

NVMe-oF defines an efficient mechanism to utilize NVMe devices in large scale storage deployments and provides investment protection by leveraging the innovations and advances in low latency SSD flash to be realized over FC and Ethernet RDMA fabrics. NVMe-oF enables NVMe storage devices to be shared, pooled and managed more effectively across a fabric.

2690/2692 Enhanced Gen 5

With support for 32GFC and 100GbE, the 2690 Enhanced Gen 5 and 2700 Series Gen 6 FC, and FastLinQ 45000 series Ethernet adapters, provide streamlined access to low latency NVMe SSDs enabling scale out architectures, simplifying design, reducing overhead and improving performance.

2700 Series Gen 6 FC

The company has commenced an early access program for NVMe over FC (FC-NVMe) and NVMe over Universal RDMA (NVMe-oF) for select partners, with plans to expand the program in Q2'17.

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QLogic NVMe over FC (FC-NVMe) solution
Next-generation data intensive workloads are utilizing low latency NVMe flash-based storage to meet ever increasing user demand. By combining the lossless, highly deterministic nature of FC with NVMe, FC-NVMe delivers the performance, application response time, and scalability needed for next generation data centers, while leveraging existing FC infrastructure. Currently shipping QLogic 2690 Series of Enhanced Gen 5 and 2700 Series of Gen 6 FC adapters are FC-NVMe ready and are being evaluated in FC-NVMe fabrics by multiple customers and partners across the industry.

Benefits of QLogic FC-NVMe solution:

  • Leading the standard: The company's chairs the T11 committee defining the FC-NVMe specification. With support from industry, the specification achieved internal Letter Ballot status on December 8th, 2016, and is on track to become a ratified standard later this year.

  • Performance: QLogic FC adapters deliver a high transactional performance of up to 2.6 million IO/s, enabling the demanding enterprise workloads that have the potential to leverage flash and NVMe. The QLogic 2700 series Gen 6 FC adapter portfolio is a broadest in the industry with single, dual and quad port variants.

  • Concurrent operation and investment protection: With QLogic technology, FC-NVMe workloads can be seamlessly introduced into existing FCP-SCSI fabrics. With QLogic 2690 and 2700 Series FC HBAs, FCP-SCSI and FC-NVMe protocol traffic can run concurrently without requiring any rip and replace of existing infrastructure.

  • Advanced SAN Fabric management: QLogic StorFusion technology delivers a suite of diagnostics, rapid provisioning and QoS services throughout the fabric which automate and simplify SAN deployment and orchestration.

      • Software Defined Storage – The company is driving innovation in software defined storage platforms with target mode drivers for the Storage Performance Developer Kit (SPDK) project, which provides a performance user-space device implementation under the BSD license.

FastLinQ NVMe over Ethernet Universal RDMA (NVMe-oF) solution
Driven by the performance demands of NVMe, high performance, low latency networking is a requirement for a fabric to scale out. Ethernet based RDMA fabrics with exceptional low latency and offload capabilities will become a choice for NVMe over Fabrics. FastLinQ 45000 Series 10/25/40/50/100GbE adapters support Universal RDMA (RoCE, RoCEv2 and iWARP) and deliver the choice to customers for scaling out NVMe over a general purpose Ethernet fabric.

Benefits of FastLinQ NVMe over Ethernet RDMA solution:

  • Broad spectrum of Ethernet connectivity speeds - 10/25/40/50/100GbE to host the most demanding enterprise, telco and cloud applications and deliver scalability to drive business growth, available in cost optimized standard, blade and OCP form factors.

  • Universal RDMA - Network adapter that delivers customers technology choice and investment protection with support for concurrent RoCE, RoCEv2 and iWARP for NVMe over Fabrics.

  • Server virtualization - Optimize infrastructure costs and increase VM density by leveraging in-built technologies like SR-IOV and Network Partitioning (NPAR) that deliver acceleration and QoS for virtual workloads and infrastructure traffic.

  • Standards compliant: Firm's NVMe over Ethernet RDMA solutions are compliant with the currently released version of the NVMe over RDMA Fabrics specification.


Company's 45000 Series 10/25/40/50/100GbE, QLogic 2690 Series Enhanced Gen 5 16GFC and 2700 Series Gen 6 32GFC adapters are available from the firm and multiple OEMs and ODMs.

"NVMe over Fabric technologies are unlocking the value of data by delivering a low latency, scalable, secure and proven fabric to extended the reach of NVMe across a large scale fabric," said Raghib Hussain, COO, Cavium. "Cavium QLogic FC and FastLinQ Ethernet Universal RDMA solutions for NVMe deliver the ultimate choice to customers looking to bring the performance and economics of NVMe to enterprise and cloud datacenters."

"FC is a reliable, secure, widely accepted and proven transport in SANs that comprise the heart of enterprise datacenters and an obvious choice for NVMe over Fabrics," said Craig Carlson, chairman, FC-NVMe Standards Committee. "As the chair of the committee defining the FC-NVMe standard, Cavium and the broader ecosystem is committed to bringing all the benefits of FC (FCP-SCSI) to FC-NVMe."

"Brocade and Cavium QLogic FC solutions have been an integral part of every wave of storage innovation in the data center," said Jack Rondoni, SVP, storage networking, Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. "NVMe is the next disruptive technology on the horizon that will require a modern FC SAN to unleash the potential of next-generation flash solutions. Today, Brocade and Cavium QLogic can deliver NVMe over FC networks that will enable our shared customers to drive unprecedented low-latency performance with their existing Gen 5 and Gen 6 FC SAN investments."

"FC-NVMe extends the reach of billions of dollars of existing FC investments," said Seamus Crehan, president, Crehan Research, Inc. "With the ability to concurrently manage both FCP-SCSI and FC-NVMe fabrics, we expect the popularity of FC connected flash-based storage to grow strongly as next generation storage designs incorporate NVMe."

"NVMe Over Fabrics will change Storage and Networking paradigms in next generation data center and cloud architectures," said Vince Asbridge, president, SANBlaze Technology, Inc. "Close collaboration with QLogic on both FC and Ethernet RDMA Fabrics for scaling out NVMe has led to the development of the SANBlaze NVMe Emulator."

"Most clouds and data centers today run on Ubuntu, the leading cloud OS. Canonical is pleased to partner with Cavium to announce NVMe-oF support on Ubuntu 17.04 to supply the industry's high performing and low-latency storage networks needed for today's data centric applications," said John Zannos, VP and GM, cloud platform and business development.

QLogic NVMe-oF evaluation kit
FC-NVMe white paper