Giganet steps into VI/IP storage space

Networking vendor Giganet last week announced new server adapters that promise to boost network performance when transporting storage data to network-attached storage (NAS) appliances.

The network adapters will use a technology called Virtual Interface over IP (VI/IP). The technology routes blocks of storage data using the message-passing Virtual Interface architecture and IP over Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet, effectively doubling application throughput and reducing server and network utilisation by five times, the company claims.

In a typical VI/IP implementation, each server and NAS device would contain a VI/IP network adapter instead of an Ethernet adapter. Workstations would contain standard Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet adapters. The VI/IP technology would route storage data using Virtual Interface over standard Ethernet. VI/IP is interoperable with existing Ethernet networks.

Giganet has submitted a proposal to the Internet Engineering Task Force for publication and subsequent standardisation of the VI/IP technology. VI/IP supports open storage network standards, such as the upcoming Direct Access File System (DAFS).

DAFS is a high-level protocol for file-by-file transfer of data across the network directly between client and storage memory. Like VI/IP, DAFS will increase network speed and relieve the system CPU of processing overhead. Based on VI/IP, DAFS is supported by Network Appliance, Seagate and Intel. Users should see the first implementations of DAFS-compliant NAS devices by the middle of next year.

The company's initial VI/IP product will be a 1G-bit Ethernet adapter for servers and NAS devices. It will be available early next year; pricing is not yet