As processors become faster and storage space grows, the computer industry experiences an increasing need for speed. One product area that hasn't been keeping up is network interconnects (i.e., network adapters in multiple Windows NT servers that connect to one another and replicate data between them). Until recently, only 10MB and 100MB network adapters were available. However, these adapters caused problems such as sustained higher latency, increased CPU utilization, and slow network response times. GigaNet's new GNN1000 network adapter solves these problems for a reasonable price.
GigaNet used the Virtual Interface Architecture (VIA) to build the GNN1000. VIA lets you transmit data at twice the speed that network device interface specification (NDIS) 4.0 adapters use. Although few VIA-enabled applications are currently available, those that are available and use the GNN1000 have shattered network benchmarks. In January, GigaNet, IBM, and Intel tested a 32-node cluster running a DB2 database and using the GNN1000 as an interconnect between the servers. To test the cluster, the companies used the TPC-D benchmark that emulates a decision support environment. Test results showed a 200 percent price and performance improvement over previous TPC-D benchmark tests.
The GNN1000 is equally useful in networks that don't use VIA-enabled applications. The adapter has an NDIS 4.0 driver and a VIA driver. The NDIS driver runs as a VIA application in the kernel and creates a direct connection to the network adapter, thereby increasing performance. In addition, the wire connecting the GNN1000s has better shielding and offers a faster bit rate than regular Category-5 network cable.
Setting up the GNN1000 is the same as setting up other NICs. The process takes about 5 minutes. The adapter includes an interconnect cable, which you use to connect two adapters. Alternatively, you can connect multiple adapters to a GigaNet 5000 switch.
In my tests, the GNN1000 demonstrated transfer speeds that were twice as fast as those of 100MB NICs running on the same system. These fast transfer speeds reduce the chance of data corruption. In addition, the adapter uses substantially less of the CPU to accomplish transfers. The GNN1000 currently provides the greatest benefit compared to a standard NIC if you're replicating large quantities of data between two systems. As manufacturers introduce more VIA-enabled applications, you'll be able to use the adapter in a variety of scenarios.
I've reviewed many products, but I've encountered only a few that will change the manner in which the computer industry conducts business. The GNN1000 is such a product: This adapter lets you move data faster than ever before and frees your servers for other processes so that you and your servers can work more efficiently.
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