Networking Enhancements in Solaris1023 May '05 - 14:02 by benr
I'm not much of a networking guy, at least not ethernet networking, its always seemed pretty dull to me. But there are some nifty features popping into Solaris10 soon that make things look more interesting. Namely, Project Nemo, the next version of GLD (GLD v3). GLD being Solaris's Generic LAN Driver, the basis upon which most of Solaris' network device drivers are implemented on top of. In this PDF on page 24 you can see some highlights reguarding Nemo, including "Trunking, vlan, dynamic polling, chaining support", "Large segment offload support", and everyones favorite "Will make writting device driver a breeze".
The reason this gets interesting to us storage guys is because more and more we're unable to keep ourselves out of the ethernet realm. I'd much rather live in a fibre channel world, but thats slowly but surely going away. So the 10Gbps NIC support in Nemo is attractive, dynamic switching between interrupt and polling with the flick of a wrist is very very attractive, and Vlan and trunking support "for the masses" is very very attractive. Trunkings been around a long long time, but the trunking we're talking about with Nemo is diffrent, its going to be integrated directly into Solaris (and hense OpenSolaris) rather than be an addon, built right into GLD. This will make a number of previously avoided configurations (due to additional licensing and support costs) now possible out of the box, with a really powerful interface front (cli) and back (api). I could easily see a number of people using 802.3ad enabled switches using the improved functionality as a replacement for IPMP. (I've always thought that the current IPMP interface is a laughable hack, cramming multipath configuration into /etc/hostname.xyz is just silly. Because of this I actually miss PNM which was much more managable, although less capable.)
Anyway, be on the look out. You can read the FireEngine white paper PDF here or BigAdmin XPerts Session Transcript: High Performance Networking. So, if you see the "Project Nemo" mentioned somewhere, keep an eye out and look for details.
jc (URL) - 12 June '06 - 22:52Hope you come back soon!! Holla and Happy Thanksgiving.