Solarflare Unveils Programmable Server Adapters

Mike Vizard

With just about every piece of infrastructure in the data center becoming programmable and upgradeable, existing network adapter cards are starting to look a little archaic.

As part of an effort to modernize network adapter cards for servers in the age of the software-defined data center, Solarflare this week unveiled 10G Ethernet server adapters that expose application programming interfaces that can be invoked with a software-defined network (SDN) environment.

According to Mike Smith, vice president and general manager of host solutions at Solarflare, the SFN7000 series of PCI Gen3 Flareon server adapters allows IT organization to not only remotely manage server adapters, they can be deployed with different levels of performance capabilities that can be programmatically upgraded at any the time a customer chooses.

By taking a platform approach to server adapters, Smith says that Solarflare not only protects investments in the server adapter hardware; it allows IT organizations to buy adapters from a single vendor regardless of the varying performance requirements of the different classes of servers in their data center.

The end result, says Smith, is lower total costs for server adapters that can scale alongside the amount of processing required of any given server. Solarfare even gives IT organizations the option to process certain classes of applications directly on the adapter, all of which can now be more managed using a new AppFlex capability developed by Solarflare.

Server adapters may not always be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about SDNs. But chances are they will emerge to be the glue that connects servers to SDN architectures which, when combined, will put IT organizations one step closer to finally building a truly software-defined data center.

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