NetXen unveils first programmable I/O architecture for server virtualization

Quoting from the NetXen official announcement:

The NetSlice architecture introduced today provides a broadly applicable set of functions for I/O virtualization, including support for as many as 1,024 virtual machines (VMs), multiple DMA engines, DMA remapping for PCIe-related activities, interrupt moderation for managing each virtual channel independently, mapping of multiple MAC addresses to the virtual NICs of a given VM, multiple transmit and receive queues dedicated to each VM, and virtual switching and traffic steering based on Layer 2 and Layer 3 packet header information.

NetXen has configured these functions to work with currently available server virtualization hardware and software. Since the industry has yet to establish standards for I/O virtualization, NetXen offers operating-system-specific solutions where necessary. As standardized schemes become available, they can easily be implemented in NetXen’s Intelligent NICs via firmware upgrades. Datacenter investments in the new virtualized I/O architecture are thus protected into the foreseeable future.

In addition to introducing the NetSlice I/O virtualization architecture, NetXen is announcing support for VMware’s ESX3 system. The new NetSlice I/O architecture works with the ESX3 system to enhance VM scalability…