TB Establishing Adaptive Links with SmartAN Dell


1 Technology Brief Establishing Adaptive Links with Cavium SmartAN Technology Simplifies establishing a link to a switch • • Streamlines deployment and management Delivers increased interoperability • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY LINK UP ISSUES The number of speeds supported over network connections, and The current in-market mixture of IEEE and/or consortium pre-standard, their associated cable types—optics and Direct Attached Copper standards-compliant, and non-standard switches and cables presents a challenging problem when deploying 25GbE and faster link speed capable (DAC) cables—has increased dramatically with the fast proliferation of Ethernet standards in recent years. Instead of having just 1Gb networks. Add to that auto-negotiation vs. fixed speed, optics vs. DAC, different FEC modes, cable length and quality, and module EEPROM data, SFP and 10Gb SFP+ connections, now we have 25Gb SFP28 single and the problem grows exponentially. connections, 40Gb QSFP+ single connections, 50Gb QSFP28 single/ dual connections, 100Gb QSFP28 single connections, 4x10Gb QSFP+ fanout connections, and 4x25Gb QSFP28 fanout connections. The standards do not cover speed auto-negotiation between 10GbE and 25GbE, let alone between these and the multi-laned 40GbE, 50GbE and 100GbE. In addition, a link may have no Forward Error Correction (FEC) or Firecode (FC) FEC or Reed Solomon (RS) FEC enabled. This requires users to manually configure the speed on all ports—both This increases the complexity when trying to establish a simple the adapter and the switch—exactly the same, to ensure they can attain link between an adapter port and its associated switch port, a link. which usually requires cooperation between both server and network administrators. AN Q S mart in L ast F The Cavium solution provides a technology that automatically detects the peer switch capabilities, the inserted cable’s type, and capabilities and With Cavium™ SmartAN™, the administrators don’t have to change links at the highest possible speed with the best feasible reliability. the switch (port) settings or the server (adapter port) settings since it seeks the best available connection setting, based on the cable and switch configuration. This relieves users from fumbling with adapter and switch connection settings to secure a link. Instead, it provides them with a “plug and play” experience. Cavium SmartAN technology is available on Dell EMC PowerEdge ® QL41000 Series 10/25GbE and servers with Cavium FastlinQ QL45212 25GbE Adapters. 1 SN0530959-00 Rev. B 12/17

2 Technology Brief Establishing Adaptive Links with Cavium SmartAN Technology ast L in Q S mart HOW F AN WORKS When an administrator first plugs a device (discrete optical module or Active Optical Cable assembly or DAC) into the Cavium FastLinQ adapter SFP/QSFP interface, the Cavium SmartAN technology reads the device type (discrete optics or AOC or DAC), what its speed rating is, special optics data (such as what FEC mode is required or if it is multi-speed capable), DAC CA-x type, and DAC length. Armed with this information, the FastLinQ adapter attempts each possible Figure 1. Cavium SmartAN/Auto-Neg/Fixed Speed & Fixed Speed FEC UEFI Controls mode (supported by that device) until it secures a link with the connected COMPETITIVE SOLUTIONS link partner (switch), without input from the end user. (See Table 1 and FastLinQ SmartAN technology automatically selects the optimal FEC mode Table 2.) that would best suit the characteristics of the components connecting the As an option, the user can select the desired mode (Auto-Neg vs. Fixed NIC to the switch (cables or optics). If none is available, the link would Speed mode and Fixed Speed FEC mode) for special situations, using the not be brought up since it could compromise the integrity of the link and server system BIOS Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) Human lead to uncorrectable errors. Cavium’s SmartAN solution is unique in Interface Infrastructure (HII) controls. (See Figure 1.) the market and provides users with a level of intelligence that no other solutions support. Table 1. Linking on QL412xx and QL452xx 25/10G NICs in Cavium SmartAN Mode to SFP+/SFP28 Interface Results With SmartAN Results Without SmartAN Switch Mode Cable * 10GbE Switch 10GbE Link Up @ 10GbE No Link * 25GbE 10GbE Switch No Link Link Up @ 10GbE * 25GbE Switch 10GbE No Link Link Up @ 10GbE 25GbE 25GbE Switch Link Up @ 25GbE Link Up @ 25GbE * Manual server and switch admin action may be required to bring link up Table 2. Linking on QL454xx 40G NIC and QL456xx 100G NIC in Cavium SmartAN Mode to QSFP+/QSFP28 Interface Results Without SmartAN Results With SmartAN Switch Mode Cable * 40GbE Switch 40GbE Link Up @ 40GbE No Link * 100GbE 40GbE Switch No Link Link Up @ 40GbE * 100GbE Switch 40GbE Link Up @ 40GbE No Link 100GbE 100GbE Switch Link Up @ 100GbE Link Up @ 100GbE * Manual server and switch admin action may be required to bring link up SN0530959-00 Rev. B 12/17 2

3 Technology Brief Establishing Adaptive Links with Cavium SmartAN Technology SUMMARY KEY BENEFITS Ethernet is experiencing a proliferation of speeds and cable types. Adding Here are some of the ways Cavium FastLinQ SmartAN delivers value to an enterprise and/or MSP data center: to this the different FEC modes greatly increases the complexity when trying to get a simple link between an adapter port and its associated • Reduces setup effort switch port. – Provides seamless interconnection between 10GbE and 25GbE The SmartAN technology available in FastLinQ QL41000 series 10/25GbE – Links the adapter at the same speed as the attached switch th and QL45212 25GbE NICs on Dell EMC PowerEdge 14 generation servers, simplifies these connectivity issues with its automatic detection, • Reduces the need to reconfigure switches configuration, and linking capabilities. – Reduces the need to reconfigure the external Ethernet switch to match the adapter’s settings ABOUT CAVIUM Cavium, Inc. (NASDAQ: CAVM), offers a broad portfolio of infrastructure – Works with any switch solutions for compute, security, storage, switching, connectivity and Offers customers the freedom to use an Ethernet switch of – baseband processing. Cavium’s highly integrated multi-core SoC products their choice deliver software compatible solutions across low to high performance points enabling secure and intelligent functionality in Enterprise, Data Simplifies deployment and management • Center and Service Provider Equipment. Cavium processors and solutions Allows reuse of existing cabling and switches – are supported by an extensive ecosystem of operating systems, tools, application stacks, hardware reference designs and other products. Provides an easier pathway for upgrading from 10G to higher speeds – Cavium is headquartered in San Jose, CA with design centers in California, Allows reuse of DACs and optics – Massachusetts, India, Israel, China and Taiwan. Follow us: Corporate Headquarters Cavium, Inc. 2315 N. First Street San Jose, CA 95131 408-943-7100 UK | Ireland | Germany | France | India | Japan | China | Hong Kong | Singapore | Taiwan | Israel International Offices Copyright © 2017 Cavium, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. QLogic LLC (formerly QLogic Corporation) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cavium, Inc. Cavium, FastLinQ, and SmartAN are registered trademarks or trademarks of Cavium Inc., registered in the United States and other countries. Dell and the Dell/EMC logo are registered trademarks of Dell Inc. All other brand and product names are registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective owners. This document is provided for informational purposes only and may contain errors. Cavium reserves the right, without notice, to make changes to this document or in product design or specifications. Cavium disclaims any warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, and does not guarantee that any results or performance described in the document will be achieved by you. All statements regarding Cavium’s future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice and represent goals and objectives only. 3 SN0530959-00 Rev. B 12/17

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