More Virtualization for PCIe

Arthur Cole

Virtualization over the PCI bus is gaining more adherents now that new standards are in place to widen the traffic lanes in one of the last pieces of network real estate subject to bottlenecks in an increasingly data-heavy universe.


VirtenSys recently showed off a line of virtual PCI Express systems capable of tying multiple physical servers over standard 10 GbE technology, eliminating the need for specialized adapters, device drivers or server modifications.


The technology uses a native PCIe interface with extended support for the new I/O Virtualization (IOV) standard recently adopted by the PCI-SIG. The company is collaborating with Neterion to link its virtual PCIe technology to the 10 GbE XFrame E adapter.


A virtual PCIe system based on 10 GbE technology would be a welcome development for Ethernet supports, but it's unclear whether it would be a cost-effective measure in light of new 20 GB Infiniband technology that's hitting the market. That's probably a question that won't be answered until both of these technologies get some real-world experience.

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