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LinuxPlanet: Emulex Connects To Linux

Aug 09, 2004, 19:45 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Rob Reilly)

"Connecting an application server to a corporate network, via a NIC, has its drawbacks. The main problem is that more than 50% of the server's CPU can be consumed processing small-block input/output.

"An HBA (host bus adapter) can offload that I/O and return those lost CPU cycles to the task of processing transactions, by the server. It does this in three different ways:

  • "The high performance microprocessors in the HBA manage the server's I/O.
  • "The HBA controls DMA (direct memory access) of the data to the host server. This offloads that task from the server CPU.
  • "Finally, the HBA can batch process CPU interrupts, instead of doing them one at a time.

"Large scale, high speed transaction and storage processing I/O is what HBAs are all about. Typical transfer rates are in the neighborhood of 2 Gb/s..."

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