Microsoft Windows Solutions

Azure Stack Certified
Windows Server/Client Certified

13 min

Chelsio @ Microsoft Ignite Collage

10 min

Chelsio iWARP for Microsoft Windows Server 2016

2 min

Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) @ 100 Gb/Sec

“This technology demonstration highlights how Storage Spaces Direct, combined with advanced flash-based storage connected by Chelsio’s 40GbE iWARP networking solution, helps users build faster, easy-to-scale and reliable storage for their private cloud deployments,”
- Erin Chapple, partner director of program management, enterprise cloud group, Microsoft Corp.
“Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 offer our most cloud-ready server operating system ever, with exciting new innovation to help you transform your applications for the cloud, build a software-defined datacenter with cloud efficiencies and keep your IT safer than ever. The complementary solutions and services from our partners are what truly brings the innovation to life for our customers as they transform their IT solutions for the cloud-first world.”
- Erin Chapple, Partner Director, Program Management for Windows Server, Microsoft
“iWARP is the ideal high-performance RDMA over Ethernet solution for Microsoft Client environments and allows the utilization of existing Ethernet infrastructure and reduces the complexities and costs commonly found in other RDMA protocols”
- Philip Moss, CPO, Acuutech, a UK-based service provider and Microsoft Cloud OS networking partner providing cloud solutions
“Chelsio RDMA cards based on iWARP also integrate seamlessly with Storage Spaces Direct, delivering very high performance storage to Windows 10 Enterprise; meeting the demands of the highest performance applications and complex datasets, with the simplicity of iWARP.”
- Philip Moss, CPO, Acuutech, a UK-based service provider and Microsoft Cloud OS networking partner providing cloud solutions

Chelsio offers one of the most comprehensive and certified adapter solutions that can unleash the full value of Microsoft enterprise and cloud installations. The Chelsio line of 1/10/25/40/50/100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) iWARP (RDMA/TCP) enabled Unified Wire adapters have achieved Windows Server 2012, 2016 and 2019 hardware certification, including in-box driver support.

Chelsio adapters power a range of below Windows capabilities:

Chelsio iWARP adapters work with any legacy Ethernet switch, thereby enabling incremental Windows Server 2016 and 2019 installations without requiring a concurrent forklift upgrade of the switch infrastructure or the entire datacenter. This ability allows the use of most cost effective new or existing switch infrastructure with the least amount of support, while enabling an immediate plug-and-play deployment. In addition, Microsoft’s support of iWARP protocol since Windows Server 2012-R2 release, has allowed for years of testing for a very robust and tested deployment with Chelsio Unified Wire adapters.

Chelsio’s line of Converged Network Adapters (CNAs) provide the most comprehensive solution available like the Unified Wire Adapters on Windows at a great price. These adapters, targeted for server applications, can support up to 256 concurrent connections of iWARP, iSER, iSCSI, FCoE, NVMe-oF, and DPDK. Also supported are the Windows specific protocols of SMB Direct, S2D, Storage Replica, and WSSD.

Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct

Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) enables continuously available storage clusters to use local storage, unlocking new high-performance NVMe SSDs and low-cost SATA SSDs and eliminates the old requirement for shared storage enclosures. The high-performance SMB Direct protocol is used for inter-node communication over the Storage Spaces Direct software storage bus.

Chelsio 1/10/25/40/50/100GbE iWARP adapters enable high virtualized application performance by giving direct access to the data residing on hyper-converged or disaggregated Storage Spaces Direct storage, as well as higher scalability for Storage Spaces Direct. Chelsio iWARP also enables much more streamlined and simplified configuration of RDMA high-performance networking for Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct compared to other Ethernet RDMA networking alternatives.

Microsoft Recommendation

Microsoft recommends iWARP as the safer alternative for S2D  as it does not require any configuration of DCB on network hosts or network switches and can operate over the same distances as any other TCP connection. For more information, refer the below article.

Storage Replica

Disaster protection is a critical requirement for business continuity and remote replication offers geographic redundancy in the face of catastrophic events. Windows Server Storage Replica (SR) enables block-level replication between clusters or individual servers. SR provides two modes of operation: synchronous replication enables mirroring of data with zero data loss at the file system level, while asynchronous replication allows local completion of I/O operations.

Storage Replica over iWARP RDMA combines high performance with the high efficiency provided by the zero-copy and CPU bypass operation of the RDMA transport, without requiring any metro extension equipment, unlike other RDMA transports. Presentations by Microsoft at Ignite 2018 showed Storage Replica over iWARP operating in synchronous mode over a 50Km fiber loop connecting two storage servers. Long distance replication was shown to provide near local access performance levels, with negligible impact on I/O rates and near zero additional latency. In addition, the iWARP RDMA transport provided remarkably stable and consistent operation.

Windows Server 2019 Update

Windows Server 2016 made great strides in the area of the Software Defined Data-Center (SDDC) with technologies like Hyper-V, Storage Spaces Direct (S2D), and Software Defined Networking. In Windows Server 2016, VMMQ was introduced to enable high-speed networking for guests running in VM. Windows Server 2019 introduces some updates to the VMMQ technology making it dynamic and hence does not require user interaction to dynamically spread out the networking load for VMs. This enhancement along will Receive Segment Coalescing in the vSwitch, also known as RSSv2, will provide the VMs with the highest possible throughput while using the CPUs as efficiently as possible. Chelsio has totally embraced this technology updating its drivers so that they are awarded the SDDC Premium Logo.

Windows 10 Enterprise Client

The Windows 10 Enterprise Client RDMA feature provides I/O-intensive desktop applications, such as video post-production, Oil/Gas and Computer-Aided Design applications, with high speed access to Windows Server enabled by SMB Direct networking. Chelsio iWARP enabled Unified Wire adapters are first-to-market solution providing support for Client RDMA. As a result, customers using Windows 10 Enterprise for professional applications will see performance improvements while taking advantage of the ease of use and low cost of ownership of Chelsio iWARP.