Solarflare unveils dual-port, triple-speed 10GBASE-T server adapter for virtualized data centers

By enabling IT managers to leverage investments in installed copper cabling and legacy 1000BASE-T equipment, the company says its SolarStorm SFN5121T adapter will accelerate deployment of 10GbE networks.

IRVINE, CA -- Solarflare Communications announced the release of its Solarflare Solarstorm SFN5121T dual-port 10GBASE-T server adapter.

At less than half the power of competitive offerings, the SFN5121T is billed as the industry's lowest-power 10GBASE-T network interface card (NIC). Designed from the ground up to support hardware assisted virtualization, the SFN5121T supports the emerging PCI SIG SR-IOV (single-root IO virtualization) standard, and accelerates guest applications in VMware, Citrix XenServer and Microsoft Hyper V environments.

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Multiple high-density 24- to 48-port 10GBASE-T data center switches are now available from several switch vendors, such as Arista Networks, Cisco, Dell and Extreme. The broad availability of these line-rate, non-blocking 10GBASE-T switches drives the need for high-performance, dual-port 10GBASE-T server adapters. Combined with the availability of multi-core servers that can take advantage of 10Gbps, IT and data center managers now have the products to build cost-effective 10GbE networks.

According to the company, 10GBASE-T supports auto negotiation with installed 1000BASE-T equipment, giving IT and data center managers the flexibility to manage their server upgrades asynchronously from their switch upgrades. Both ends of the wire will not have to be upgraded to 10GbE at the same time. The Solarflare SFN5121T also runs on installed Category 5E and 6 cabling, allowing network managers to preserve their costly investments in cabling and patch panels.

"We are excited to broaden our portfolio of Solarflare products with our latest dual-port 10GBASE-T NIC," said Mike Smith, general manager of host solutions. "Our newest product addresses the needs of the evolving market, delivering the power, application performance and virtualization capabilities for today's data centers. Over 90% of cabling in data centers and enterprises is twisted pair copper. Now, data center and IT managers can avoid forklift upgrades and leverage their cabling investments when deploying 10GbE networks."

The SFN5121T includes Ethernet energy efficiency features such as Dynamic Power Scaling, which enables shorter links to consume less power, as well as sleep and data center modes. At less than 6.5 watts per port in 100-meter mode and 5.5 watts per port in data center mode, the SFN5121T is the lowest-power 10GBASE-T server adapter on the market.

The company contends that, with its hardware-assisted support for virtualization, the SFN5121T delivers up to 5 times the application performance of other server adapters by accelerating virtual IO for Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper V and VMware. The SFN5121T also possesses the industry's most scalable virtualization architecture, supporting 256 virtual functions and up to 2048 virtual machines, 16 times greater scalability than conventional approaches.

The SFN5121T will be generally available in August and offered at US list price of $1,200. For more information on pricing and availability of Solarflare products, visit

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