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Confused over 10GigE implementation

Posted on 2007-11-26
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I've got a server running Gigabit ethernet that's connected to 20 nodes (each running 1 Gigabit ethernet).  I'm thinking of upgrading the server's gigabit NIC with a 10GigE (yes, my switch supports it).

My question is this: can the server's 10GigE "pipe" be virtually split into ten 1 gigabit connections? In other words, can i support ten simultateous one gigabit connections to the server?

(I'm using the SMC Tigerswitch II under a Windows 2k3 environment)
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Question by:APixels
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by:Don Johnston
ID: 20354577
Not really.

But then again, if there are ten 1gig data streams going to the server over a single 10gig  link, each stream will be able to carry 1gig each. So you'll be seeing the same result as if you would have been able to do it.
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by:APixels
ID: 20354774
Hmmm...that's kind of what I'm asking, I think.

CAN one 10GigE pipe carry ten 1gig data streams simultaneously?

Obviously, if the 10GigE cannot do this, then there's no reason to upgrade because each node is bottlenecked at 1gig.

So can this fat 10GigE pipe be seen as "ten 1gig pipes"?

Thanks a bunch.
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Don Johnston earned 800 total points
ID: 20354823
A 10gig link can carry 10gig of data.

It doesn't matter if it originated as a single 10gig stream, ten 1gig streams, one hundred 100mb streams or one thousand 10mb streams.
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Author Comment

by:APixels
ID: 20354844
Really? Is that a function of the switch? I thought that, be default, a single connection is made for each node requesting data. This connection would be 10gig to 1gig, thus the 10gig link would be "downgraded" to the slowest connector (in this case 1gig). THEN it would process the next request, which would be another 1gig connection. I thought it kind of did this round-robin for each connection. I *thought* I would have to do some trickery to split this 10gig pipe into ten 1gig pipes. Is that not the case?

BTW, thanks kindly donjohnston for the quick responses.
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by:Don Johnston
Don Johnston earned 800 total points
ID: 20354890
In the case of the clients sending data to the server, they would only be able to transmit at 1gig.

The return path, however, is a bit different. The server would transmit at 10gig. The data would be put in the buffer of the outbound port of the switch and transmitted at a speed of 1gig. If the data continued to pour out of the server, eventually the buffer would overflow and data would start getting dropped.

If you're trying to avoid this, the only way would be to enable rate limiting on the server so that it would never transmit faster than 1gig for any destination. To be honest, I don't know if this is possible.
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by:APixels
ID: 20354918
"In the case of the clients sending data to the server, they would only be able to transmit at 1gig."

Ah! let's look at that for a moment. Are you saying that EACH CLIENT can only send at 1gig, or ONLY ONE connection (at 1gig) can be made at a time? In other words, can the server accept ten 1gig client streams at once?

I'm interested in doing the reverse of NIC teaming. With NIC teaming, you can make multiple NICs functions as one...what I want to do is make one 10gigE function as ten 1gig NICs.

Again, donjohnston, thanks for all your help on this!




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by:Don Johnston
Don Johnston earned 800 total points
ID: 20355138
>Are you saying that EACH CLIENT can only send at 1gig, or ONLY ONE connection (at 1gig) can be made at a time?

If it's tranmitting, the client will transmit at 1gig <period>. It's a 1gig link. With a typical PC, if it's transmitting, it's transmitting at the speed of the link.

The server doesn't have the option of receiving specific data. It gets what the switch sends it. And without any queuing enabled, the switch will send the data out the 10gig port on a first in, first out method.

>what I want to do is make one 10gigE function as ten 1gig NICs.
The only way to accomplish this is with rate limiting.

But the question is; Why? Is this a theoretical discussion or are you trying to resolve something?
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by:APixels
ID: 20355281
> But the question is; Why? Is this a theoretical discussion or are you trying to resolve something?

I'm glad you asked ;)

Really, what I need to do is serve data as fast as possible to as many connections as possible. We have a group of artists that are working with large data sets. They do a lot of reading and writing to the servers. The servers are plenty fast enough to feed multiple workstations, the drive arrays are fast enough to feeding multiple workstations, and the switch backplane is 48G. Soooo...I was trying to find a way to widen the network bottleneck a bit. I don't really want to pay for anything larger than 1gig per workstation BUT if the server/array/switch can do MULTIPLE connections, that would help open up the log-jam.
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by:Don Johnston
ID: 20355328
I really can't imagine you'll have any problems.

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