News | November 12, 2008

Fulcrum And Ixia To Demonstrate Fibre Channel Over Ethernet At Supercomputing 2008


CALABASAS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fulcrum Microsystems and Ixia (NASDAQ: XXIA), a leading, global provider of IP performance test systems will participate in a multi-vendor Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) interoperability test to demonstrate a true unified 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) data center fabric serving both storage area networking (SAN) and local area network (LAN) data flows. The demonstration will be held from Nov. 17-20 at the SC08 conference in Austin, TX, Nov. 17-20, in the Ethernet Alliance booth (#2514).

The demonstration features Ixia's high-density 10 GbE IxYukon™ load module and Fulcrum's low-latency "Monaco" FocalPoint®-based switch platform. As data centers migrate storage traffic onto Ethernet networks, FCoE is quickly gaining traction. Previously, data centers had to maintain separate Fibre Channel and Ethernet network infrastructures, requiring different interfaces at the server level and redundant network layers for storage and Ethernet traffic. Data center bridging using the FCoE protocol provides reduction in OPEX, since storage traffic can now be transmitted across existing Ethernet infrastructure. Data center bridging provides a lossless Ethernet environment that allows storage area network (SAN) traffic to effectively utilize it.

The demonstration highlights the use of lossless Ethernet to transport SAN traffic using the FCoE protocol with guaranteed throughput, while at the same time forwarding standard Ethernet LAN traffic with potential loss. IEEE P802.1Qbb priority flow control (PFC) prevents FCoE packets from being dropped on oversubscribed ports. PFC allows 10 GbE to reliably serves as a viable, low latency fabric technology for converged FCoE and Ethernet environments.

"The Ethernet Alliance is pleased to have Ixia and Fulcrum participate in this unique Ethernet ecosystem demonstration at SC08," said Brad Booth, Ethernet Alliance board chair. "Their collaboration to demonstrate FCoE highlights the ability of Ethernet to be used as a unified fabric for storage and LAN traffic."

"We're eager to demonstrate the advancements in congestion management available in the Monaco switch platform, because these capabilities augment the low latency and other features of FocalPoint that have made Fulcrum a leader in Ethernet data center switching," said Mike Zeile, chief operating officer for Fulcrum Microsystems. "This demonstration with Ixia offers a real-world test of the capabilities of our switching products and assures our customers that this new platform will deliver the lossless data transmission necessary for Ethernet-based SAN applications."

"Ixia's high-density 10 GbE IxYukon load module provides the means to generate line-rate traffic and accurately measure low latency, congestion and performance of converged data center Ethernet," said Victor Alston, senior vice president of product development of Ixia. "Ixia offers a unified platform for both SAN and LAN testing that provides comprehensive Data Center Ethernet testing with line rate FCoE traffic augmented by real world SCSI initiator and target emulation."

The joint demo involves eight ports of full line rate 10 GbE traffic to the Monaco switch, mixing both standard Ethernet and FCoE stateless traffic. PFC is used to prioritize the FCoE traffic over the lower priority Ethernet traffic. The Ixia test platform measures the traffic throughput and latency for each traffic priority class and graphs the prioritized FCoE and Ethernet traffic. Fulcrum's class-based pause support enables this type of demonstration.

Monaco is a 1U-high switch platform that features 24 SFP+ 10GbE switch ports and can deliver enhanced congestion management performance because it combines the low 300ns L3 latency provided by Fulcrum's FocalPoint silicon.

Ixia's IxYukon provides the best low latency Ethernet feature set available and is the test and measurement industry's highest density, layer 2-7 test system for 10GbE switches.

About Fulcrum Microsystems

Fulcrum Microsystems Inc. is a fabless semiconductor company that has developed the FocalPoint family of 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) switch/router chips for next-generation data center fabric designs. FocalPoint devices offer the industry's lowest latency combined with the fine-grained flow control and high throughput required for converged data center fabrics. With its ControlPoint network OS, Fulcrum offers a complete solution along with a worldwide ecosystem of partners from which storage and clustering system designers can drive adoption of 10GbE as the fabric of choice for a fully converged data center. More information can be found at

About Ixia

Ixia is a leading provider of IP performance test systems and service verification platforms for IP-based infrastructure and services. Ixia's test systems are used by network and telephony equipment manufacturers, semiconductor manufacturers, service providers, governments, and enterprises to validate the capabilities and reliability of complex IP networks, devices, and applications. Ixia's triple-play test systems address the growing need to test voice, video, and data services and network capability under real-world conditions.

For more information, contact Ixia at 26601 W. Agoura Road, Calabasas, CA 91302; (818) 871-1800, Fax: (818) 871-1805; Email: or visit our Web Site at

About Ethernet Alliance

The Ethernet Alliance is dedicated to promoting industry awareness, acceptance, and advancement of technology and products based on existing and emerging IEEE 802® Ethernet standards. The organization's mission is to accelerate industry adoption and remove barriers to market entry by providing a cohesive, market-responsive industry voice on IEEE 802 Ethernet projects. For more information about the Ethernet Alliance, visit

To learn more about the benefits of membership and what it means to be a member of the Ethernet Alliance, visit

FocalPoint is a registered trademark of Fulcrum Microsystems. All other trademarks are owned by their respective companies.

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