High Speed Local Networks

Offload, store and transfer data with extradinary speed with a PCI Express network

If you need to tranfer large data sets and currently use 10 Gigabit Ethernet, a PCI Express Network may be the right choice for you. PCI Express networks are high speed local area networks for connecting two or more systems. Once connected developers can use existing sockets applications or TCP/IP commands to move data between machines with the benefit of higher throughput and lower latency. There are various uses for a PCI Express Network. It can be used to transfer files, create high availability systems with a redundant node, create offloads backup of data without in shorter time periods. DRBD is an example of using a PCI Express network to create a high availablity application. Dolphin's PCI Express solution delivers significant improvements in DRBD transaction throughput and latency and provides the best possible combination of performance, scalability and application security through replication.

DRBD (Distributed Replicated Block Device) is a distributed high availability storage system for Linux. Writes to a local disk are synchronously and transparently written to a disk on another system through a fast and reliable network. DRBD is often used with MySQL but is not limited to this environment. It can be used with any application or system that needs a synchronous replicated block device.

Performance results

An interconnect is required to connect to the replication node in a DRBD solution. Ethernet is often implemented as the interconnect solution. PCI Express offers a faster solution to write to the replicating node.

DRBD Random write performance

Figure a illustrates PCI Express performance compared to Infiniband and 10 Gbit Ethernet on a LINBIT random write performance benchmark. When storage bottlenecks are addressed by implementing high performance storage systems such as SSD storage, the interconnect performance plays a major role in application performance. As can be seen in the write performance benchmark, there is a significant performance improvement when moving from Infiniband and 10 Gbit Ethernet to PCI Express. This is a result of the additional bandwidth and latency improvement of PCI Express.

The low latency/high bandwidth communication model using Dolphin Express PCI Express solution and SuperSockets software provides an ideal environment for supporting an extremely efficient replicated block storage mechanism. As a result, it shows up to 60% improvement in performance over a 10 Gigabit Ethernet and Infiniband solutions. Overall, Dolphin Express along with high performance storage provides the best replication performance for DRBD.