University of Pisa is scouting a lot of new technologies for its Next Generation Data Center especially on the networking side. We have designed a new Data Center network based on the emerging 25Gb/s and 100Gb/s standards based on Dell* and Juniper* latest networking switches. During this activity (that involves a lot of R&D) we have worked with Intel to test the new 25Gb Intel Ethernet Network Adapter XXV710-DA2 inside our new environment.
The network adapters are installed intwo Dell PowerEdge* R420 Server running Microsoft* Windows Server 2012 R2. The servers are connected to a Dell Networking Z9100 100Gb/s Ethernet Switch We use a QSFP28 to 4xSFP28 breakout cable to a single 100 Gb/s QSFP28 port on the switch. In Figure 1, we can see the driver version and the speed available. The installation of the driver went smoothly and also no issue was seen regarding stability.
25Gb/s Bandwidth Testing
The performance testing was done using iPerf3* software which is a tool for active measurements of the maximum achievable bandwidth on IP networks. We ran iPerf3 using multiple streams (four) contemporary streams:
As seen in Figure 2 below, a total performance (with four streams) of around 25Gb/s is reached.
Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 Failover Cluster on 25Gb/s
We have configured our machine as a Failover Cluster under Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 using the standard installation procedure.
All the HW was correctly recognized by the cluster installation phase and all the cluster tests were passed without error of warning on the networking side.
As shown from the following picture, we have now a running cluster using 25Gb/s interface as a live VM migration and failover cluster network.
As a result of these tests the Intel Ethernet Network Adapter XXV710-DA2 has been successfully moved into our real production environment and chosen as part of our future networking development at the University Of Pisa.