Hardware Boosts Windows Server 2003 File Serving Speeds

Monday Apr 28th 2003 by Pedro Hernandez

Alacritech's TCP/IP accelerator helps Microsoft's latest server operating system post file serving performance gains in tests.

Microsoft's enterprise storage ambitions for Windows 2003 just a got little help in the form of the Alacritech 1000x1 Storage and Server Accelerator. In a VeriTest report commissioned by Microsoft, benchmarking numbers showed that the new operating system's file server performance posted significant gains when Alacritech's accelerator hardware was thrown into the mix.

Alacritech's 1000x1 Storage and Server Accelerators work by effectively offloading TCP/IP and iSCSI (define) protocol processing duties from the system's main processor, bypassing operations such as CPU interrupts and the latency that they create. Applications utilizing SMB(define)/CIFS(define) protocols in particular benefit from this approach.

Tests revealed that under Windows Server 2003, the server bested a Windows NT 4.0 Server Enterprise Edition implementation with an Intel Network Interface Card (NIC) by 212 percent, reaching speeds of 1370 Mbps compared to 439 Mbps for Windows NT 4.0.

When pitted against Windows 2000 Advanced Server, Alacritech's hardware helped Windows 2003 achieve throughput gains of 132 percent, besting the Windows 2000 machine's score of 591 Mbs when mated with an Intel NIC.

The company reports that its accelerators also beat Intel NICs in otherwise identical Windows Server 2003 hardware configurations.

The tests were performed on an HP ProLiant DL760G2 server in an eight-processor configuration outfitted with Alacritech 1000x1 Server and Storage Accelerator cards. Benchmarks were taken with NetBench 7.02 software from Ziff Davis Media.

In describing the product's value to a Windows Server 2003 configuration, Larry Boucher, Alacritech's president and CEO said, "Microsoft's latest server platform helps businesses achieve greater continuity and consolidation without sacrificing performance."

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