FRAMINGHAM (04/18/2000) - Alacritech this week will unveil two server network interface cards the company says can deliver eight times the performance of traditional adapters.
The company's session layer interface card technology competes mainly against Intel products and is aimed at users who want to boost the performance of their Web, network or application servers.
Unlike traditional cards, which act solely as packet transfer devices, Alacritech's two- and four-port cards have processors that off-load network-related processing tasks from the server to increase overall network performance. The PCI cards now support Windows NT-based servers. Alacritech is working on support for Linux servers and plans to support others later this year.
At Syncsort, a utility company in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, the new cards are being used to help speed the company's Backup Express back-up and recovery application. Ira Goodman, technical support manager at Syncsort, says the company has seen performance gains of 20 percent on servers using the new cards. "The benefit of using one of these cards is that backup is an intensive process, because you are moving lots of data from a server to a back-up device, and the process of sending that uses CPU time," Goodman says. "So if you can reduce the overall usage and allow this card to do the network CPU processing like the IP processing, you improve overall performance."
Alacritech's first products will be two- and four-port 10/100 Ethernet server adapters aimed at enterprise users, system integrators and computer OEMs.
Alacritech Ethernet server adapters come bundled with up to 8M bytes of onboard RAM for protocol processing and buffering. The products support NT and conform to the PCI 2.2 specification for 64-bit devices for operation in either 32- or 64-bit PCI environments. The two-port cards cost $299 and the four-port cards cost $599.