San Jose, Calif., June 27,
2003 – With the revolution of internet and evolution of
distributed computing, the need for changing the storage
topologies are increasingly felt by the users of the technology.
Going into later part of this decade, the architecture of
equipments to serve the functions of the "so-called computers"
of 1980s and 1990 will be a highly integrated monolith of
loosely coupled computing elements interacting with networking
gear and storage attachments.
While forecasting this change is relatively easy, getting
this into reality spectrum is a fairly tall order. Towards
this, the research and development teams at GDA have been
looking at various possibilities and combinations. To attack
one issue at a time, first effort is made to allow access
of quality storage (Fibre Channel ring) through the IP segment
of the computing array.
To marry IP to Storage, one needs to allow the ethernet
packets coming at high speeds (>1Gigabit/sec) from multiple
entry streams, process it to remove the overhead in the
payload and switch it to the storage interface of Fibre
Channel without loosing the bandwidth available on both
the interfaces as well making sure that the latency is not
built-up along the way to throttle the CPU elements residing
elsewhere. The interconnect element between the two binding
partners has to be a very high freeway. Looking at the competing
technologies, it was decided that HyperTransport has to
be that interconnect.
To translate these stringent requirements into a cost effective
product, GDA turned to latest in the Broad Processing and
selected BCM1250 processor as the basic building block.
It combines two processing engines, built gigabit ports
and a HyperTransport interface for high speed I/O on the
system level solution. To promote this NAS-SAN platform
aggressively into the market place, industry standard CPCI
form-factor board was chosen to enable value-added re-sellers,
system integrators and OEMs to take advantage of this unique
Final product implementation from GDA consists of two Gigabit
Ethernet ports and one Fibre Channel port using a Qlogic
device. The board also has the standard compute subsystem
around the BCM1250 processor with 256MB unbuffered DDR memory,
1MB CAM and 8/16MB Boot Flash. A key design feature of the
design of this platform is that it can be easily modified
to work with other popular Network Processors in the industry.
Along with the hardware, GDA has ported Flash based firmware
and board support packages for Embedded Linux. GDA is also
working with third-party software protocol developers to
allow this integrated platform to be customized for emerging
protocols like iSCSI and to be able to meet the requirements
of highly critical packet inspection security system designs
at wire speeds. By working with GDA, OEMs and system integrators
can bring new product offerings in the space in record time.
GDA is continuing to strong investments in applications
and product designs using emerging processor and I/O interface
technologies to allow our customers to shorten their time-to-market
as well as to provide differentiation across products. GDA
is very close to deliver on the Intellectual Property road-map
of 10-Gigabit Ethernet interfaces which will be the next
technology to use in the NAS-SAN product lines. Along with
HyperTransport core, 10Gigabit ethernet MAC core from GDA
will enable rapid deployement of high speed virtualized
storages over IP.