Solarflare has announced the expansion of its SFN5000 family of 10GbE server adapters with the launch of several new midrange 10GbE adapters. The Solarflare SFC9000 controller LAN-on-motherboard (LOM), announced in August 2009, enables the product's low-power, hardware-assisted virtualization and aggressive cost performance ratios.

The SFC9000 is the industry's lowest power controller and the industry's first LOM with integrated 10GBASE-T. With its hardware-assisted support for virtualization, the SFC9000 delivers up to 5 times the application performance of other server adapters by accelerating virtual I/O for Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper V and VMware. The SFC9000 also possesses the industry's most scalable virtualization architecture, supporting up to 256 virtual functions and up to 2048 virtual NICs, 16 times greater scalability than conventional approaches.

The company's two new dual-port and single-port midrange 10GbE server adapters complement the currently shipping enterprise 10GbE server adapters, expanding Solarflare's footprint in the market, while offering customers better performance at more aggressive cost and performance points.

Midrange 10GbE server adapters

Solarflare's midrange dual-port and single-port 10GbE adapters deliver high-performance, low latency, low power and scalable I/O virtualization, offering exceptional value for datacenters, enterprise networks, virtualization and cloud applications, and high performance compute (HPC) clusters: SFN5162F Dual-Port 10GbE SFP+ Server Adapter, SFN5161T Dual-Port 10GBASE-T Server Adapter, SFN5152F Single-Port SFP+ Server Adapter, and the SFN5151T Single-Port 10GBASE-T Server Adapter.

"Our customers are very excited about our expanded 10GbE server adapter portfolio," Russell Stern, CEO of Solarflare. "Our midrange server adapters offer customers exceptional value. The power, performance and cost advantages are all possible because we were the first company with a 10GBASE-T LOM chip and have the lowest power PHY and the lowest power controller. We have the right feature set to enable high-frequency trading, high-performance computing for select verticals, such as scientific computing, oil, gas and manufacturing, as well as server virtualization for cloud networking."

Solarflare is the first and only company shipping both low-power, sub 5-watt 10GBASE-T transceivers and integrated, single monolithic 10GBASE-T LOM chips. Because Solarflare is the only company with the lowest power 10GBASE-T LOM, it is able to bring to market the lowest-power, single port 10GBASE-T adapter, at 7.9 watts, and the lowest power dual port 10GBASE-T adapter, at 12.9 watts, versus competing solutions at 20 watts or more. When a datacenter customer deploys 1000s of servers, the power savings add up to a quarter of a million kw/hours per year (2000 servers * 2 slots*7 watts*24 hours*365 days).

Solarflare 10GbE network adapters, often in combination with Solarflare OpenOnload application acceleration middleware, enable companies in a wide range of industries to build high-performance compute (HPC) clusters and datacenters that meet the most demanding computing and networking challenges. These include financial services, virtualized datacenters, energy, oil and gas and academic computing environments.

To date, Solarflare has shipped the SFN5122F 10GbE dual port SFP+ adapter to over 100 customers and 150 locations in China, Europe, US, India, Hong Kong and Singapore. The SFN5122F, with its OpenOnload application acceleration middleware, is also installed in every major equities exchange worldwide.

Pricing and availability

  • SFN5162F Dual-Port 10GbE SFP+ Midrange Server Adapter. US List price $825, available now.
  • SFN5161T Dual-Port 10GBASE-T Midrange Server Adapter. US List price $900, available now.
  • SFN5152F Single-Port 10GbE SFP+ Midrange Server Adapter. US List price $619, available now.
  • SFN5151T Single-Port 10GBASE-T Midrange Server Adapter. US List price $675, available now.

Providing Expertise and Equipment Demonstrate Force10’s Commitment to Better Understand Technology Issues Concerning Computer Security


Force10 Networks has announced that it recently provided the networking infrastructure, including an E-Series core switch/router, C-Series resilient switch/router and an S-Series switch as well as engineering expertise, to the recent 26th Chaos Communication Congress (26C3) in Berlin, Germany. The annual four-day conference, organized by the Chaos Computer Club (CCC), offered lectures, workshops, project presentations and other activities to more than 3,000 attendees and some 9,000 remote participants.

“Since 1984, the Chaos Communication Congress has served as the pre-eminent destination for hackers in Europe to exchange ideas and work on projects that help them better understand issues related to computer technologies, security, society and networking,” said Elisa Jasinska, CCC. “We are glad Force10 provided us with high performance network equipment and valuable technical support so we were able to keep the activities operating smoothly throughout the conference.”

In addition to the lectures and workshops, the 26C3 conference featured a hack center, which is considered a huge laboratory for technological research in a wide range of fields, including operating and testing network hardware and software. Drawing from a long-term successful cooperation between the CCC and Force10, the CCC selected the Force10 E600 as a single core switch and the C300 and S50 solutions in the distribution layer and implemented them to anchor the network infrastructure for the conference and the hack center activities.

“As a technology-driven organization, Force10 strongly supports the primary mission of the 26C3 conference, which is to cultivate and share knowledge with concern to computer and network technologies and security,” said Marc Bruyere, Senior Customer Support Engineer, Force10 Networks. “Because we take this effort very seriously, we were excited to provide resources in equipment and expertise to best support the CCC and the work being done during the conference.”

Innovations Include FabricPath Technology for Data Center Scalability, WAN Optimization Solutions, and new Cloud Services

Cisco has announced new technology that supports its Data Center 3.0 strategy to help customers increase the flexibility of their data centers as they become more virtualized and cloud-based. The new technology advances Cisco's underlying unified fabric capabilities that help customers enhance the efficiency of information delivery in physical and virtualized data center environments, and manage public and private cloud resources more effectively.

"The F-Series modules on the Cisco Nexus 7000 series are currently deployed in LLNL's high performance computing infrastructure, offering us a high density 10GE and low latency networking solution.  This technology has enabled LLNL to build large storage network fabrics to support the world class supercomputing systems vital to the laboratory's national security research and development missions," said Matt Leininger, deputy for advanced technology projects at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. 

"NASA's Nebula cloud computing project based at Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., is using Cisco's FabricPath Switching System to develop a method to connect local virtualized servers to other cloud networks. NASA also uses the system to interconnect local cloud development and research networks through the Ames Internet eXchange (AIX)," said Ray Obrien, Nebula project manager at NASA Ames.

Announced today is Cisco FabricPath, networking technology that dramatically increases network scalability, resource agility, asset efficiency, and performance in the data center.  Cisco also announced new enhancements for Cisco Nexus and Catalyst data center switching platforms, Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) extensions, and new Cisco services. Comprising the richest set of networked data center solutions in the industry, Cisco's data center and virtualization vision combines unified fabric and unified computing to provide a foundation for reliable, efficient, agile, and highly secure data centers.

Key Highlights

Data Center Scalability, Resource Allocation and Performance 

  • Cisco FabricPath:  A feature of Cisco's data center operating system, NX-OS, Cisco FabricPath addresses emerging data center and cloud computing challenges posed by sophisticated virtualization requirements, dynamic workload mobility needs, and clustered application environments found in high-performance computing.  Based on Cisco's efforts in support of the emerging Transparent Interconnection of Lots of Links (TRILL) standard, FabricPath provides ground-breaking data center-wide scalability, resiliency and performance. 
  • Cisco Nexus 7000 F-series I/O module: A new module for the Cisco Nexus 7000 data center switch provides next-generation performance with 32 ports of 10 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity with low latency, reduced power, and improved return on investment.  Designed for access and aggregation layer applications, the I/O module delivers up to 320 gigabits per second of switching capacity and supports both Gigabit Ethernet and 10 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity, providing an easy migration path while protecting existing technology investments.  It supports the Data Center Bridging and TRILL standards with Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) to be enabled in the near future through a software upgrade.
  • Cisco FabricPath Switching System (FSS): The FabricPath Switching System is an integrated, validated, hardware and software system that delivers the FabricPath functionality to build massively scalable domains. It is based on the FabricPath feature of NX-OS and FabricPath-capable hardware, such as the Nexus 7000 with F-Series I/O modules.Cisco Nexus 7000 Data Center Switching Platform


Application Performance Optimization

Cisco WAAS accelerates application traffic over the wide area network, enabling enterprises to consolidate applications into data centers and utilize cloud computing, while ensuring performance and productivity for users in remote sites or on the go.

  • WAAS as an on-demand service for the Cisco Integrated Services Router (ISR) G2:  Cisco WAAS can now be deployed in the branch office as an on-demand service direct from select models of the Cisco Integrated Services Router (ISR) G2, providing increased business agility and greater operational simplicity.
  • Web and software-as-a-service (SaaS): A new version of Cisco WAAS, version 4.2, offers performance optimization for Web applications deployed in the data center, or hosted in the cloud and delivered as a service (SaaS).
  • Windows-server-on-WAAS (WoW): Cisco WAAS 4.2 provides better support for Windows-server-on-WAAS (WoW), with fast access to data center and cloud applications, and locally hosted Windows services, on a single platform.
  • WAAS Mobile for the Cloud: WAAS Mobile 3.5 for the cloud can now be easily deployed in a public cloud infrastructure for faster application performance for mobile users.

Higher Performance Data Center Switching

  • Cisco Catalyst 4948E Switch: Building upon the success of the Cisco Catalyst 4900 Series Switches with more than 10 million ports sold, Cisco introduces the 4948E Switch with increased capacity, superior performance, microburst protection for predictable latency, plus automation and visibility. The switch also supports wire-speed IPv6, in addition to auto-provisioning and smart call-home features.

New Cisco Services for Data Center Deployment 

  • New Cisco Cloud Enablement services:  Backed by a broad ecosystem of industry-leading partners, Cisco today launched a set of services to help customers transform the data center. Cloud Enablement Services, including strategy, planning, design, and implementation, help customers successfully transition the data center to a cloud infrastructure to quickly realize the benefits of a cloud operational model. 
  • Cisco Intelligent Automation Solutions: Cisco is also introducing Cisco Intelligent Automation for IT Services, including new versions of the Tidal Enterprise Scheduler and Tidal Enterprise Orchestrator products that provide real-time IT process orchestration and batch automation to simplify data center management and increase operational efficiency and performance.
  • Cisco Validated Design guides: Cisco validated design guides serve as blueprints for ready-to-deploy IT across a variety of domains, including Cisco Virtualized Multi-Tenant Data Center (VMDC) solutions for private cloud design.
Price and Availability
The Cisco Nexus 7000 F-Series I/O module entry-level pricing is $35,000.  Cisco's Enhanced Layer 2 License for FabricPath is priced at $25,000.  Both products are scheduled to be available in the third quarter of 2010.  Cisco WAAS Release 4.2 software for the ISR G2 starts at $2,500 and is available now.   The Cisco Catalyst 4948E is available now and is priced from $10,995.

Molecular worm algorithm navigates inside chemical labyrinth

With the passage of a molecule through the labyrinth of a chemical system being so critical to catalysis and other important chemical processes, supercomputer simulations are frequently used to model potential molecule/labyrinth interactions. In the past, such simulations have been expensive and time-consuming to carry out, but now researchers with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed a new algorithm that should make future simulations easier and faster to supercompute, and yield much more accurate results.

"Currently the major limiting factor in running molecular simulations for a large number of structures before they can be screened for useful materials is the need to visually analyze the structures to set up successful simulations," says Maciej Haranczyk, a computational chemist and a 2008 Glenn T. Seaborg Fellow in Berkeley Lab's Computational Research Division. "With our approach, such structural analysis can be done automatically, which speeds up the whole process of material screening."James Sethian (seated) and Maciej Haranczyk, of the Mathematics Group in Berkeley Lab's Computational Research Division, have developed a molecular worm algorithm that makes it easier and faster to simulate the passage of a molecule through the labyrinth of a chemical system.  Credit: Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt, Berkeley Lab Public Affairs

Haranczyk is co-author of a paper that appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences entitled: "Navigating molecular worms inside chemical labyrinths." The other author of this paper is James Sethian, who heads the Mathematics Group of Berkeley Lab's Computational Research Division, and is also a professor in the Mathematics Department of the University of California, Berkeley.

A key to the success of this new algorithm was its departure from the traditional treatment of molecules as hard spheres with fixed radii. Instead, Haranczyk and Sethian constructed "molecular worms" from blocks connected by flexible links. These molecular worms provide a more realistic depiction of a molecule's geometry, thereby providing a more accurate picture of how that molecule will navigate through a given chemical labyrinth, as Sethian explains.

"In practice, most molecules of interest, even the simplest solvents or gases, rarely have a spherical shape, and treating molecules as such may lead to errors," he says. "Our molecular worms are able to change shape during the traversing of a chemical labyrinth, which allows them to reach areas not accessible to either a single large spherical probe or a rigid real-shape probe. This significantly extends the range of probes and structures that can be efficiently examined."

As a molecule navigates through a chemical system, its access to a particular site or place within that system determines the extent to which catalysis and other chemical reactions may occur. Many of these critical sites are either buried in clefts, pockets or hidden cavities, or else represent channel systems. The accessible volume of a chemical system – the free volume available to a penetrating molecule - is also critical to the system's physical properties, including diffusion, viscosity and electrical conductivity. Predicting whether a molecule will be able to traverse through a given chemical labyrinth is the first question that a simulation must answer, followed by identifying the shortest transverse route, finding the largest probe that can transverse though the system, and calculating accessible volume.

This figure shows a molecular worm representing a butane molecule as it navigates through the chemical labyrinth of a typical alkane-cracking zeolite. The alogorithm was used to compute the shortest...

"The required calculations become quite expensive as one needs to include interactions of all the atoms of the penetrating molecule with all the atoms in the labyrinth, and this procedure has to be repeated at every step of the simulation," Haranczyk says. "Additionally, in molecular dynamics only one trajectory per molecule is investigated. Since a penetrating molecule can be bouncing off the walls of a system before it finds a way out, mapping accessible volume in a chemical labyrinth may require the running of a very long simulation to actually see the molecule moving through."

Haranczyk, looking to automate the process by which the void spaces of porous materials are analyzed, had an idea for a probe that would walk through the inside a material and map it. Sethian had been working on mathematic techniques that can be used in robotic navigations and path planning, as well as a host of algorithms for computing geometries in complex settings.

"What's exciting here is to bring together two disparate worlds to build a new technology" says Sethian. The two scientists pooled their expertise to develop the molecular worm algorithm, which they first tested on a zeolite material. Zeolites are microporous minerals that have been widely used since the late 1950s as chemical catalysts, membranes for separations, and water softeners. They are especially useful as alkane-cracking catalysts in oil refinement.

"There are 190 zeolite structures known to exist today, but they constitute only a very small fraction of the 2.5 million structures that are feasible on theoretical grounds," Haranczyk says. "The development of a database of hypothetical zeolite structures has long been regarded as an important step toward designer catalysts as it could, in principle, be screened for zeolites of any property. However, brute-force screening of all possible zeolite structures through molecular dynamics characterization is computationally infeasible, hence the need for rapid triaging based on an initial analysis of various properties."

The successful testing of the molecular worm algorithm on a typical alkane-cracking zeolite opens an immediate door to its use in screening for new zeolites as well as a wide variety of other porous materials. The algorithm should also prove valuable in the search for materials that can capture carbon emissions before they enter the atmosphere. With further refinements, it could also one day be applied to proteins, especially enzymes.

"Being at the frontier of science and solving a very complex problem that has not been addressed before is always very exciting," Haranczyk says.


President Obama today named Warren Washington, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), as one of 10 eminent researchers to be awarded the National Medal of Science. The recipients of the science medal and of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation will receive their awards-the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on scientists, engineers, and inventors-at a White House ceremony later this year.

"The extraordinary accomplishments of these scientists, engineers, and inventors are a testament to American industry and ingenuity," President Obama said. "Their achievements have redrawn the frontiers of human knowledge while enhancing American prosperity, and it is my tremendous pleasure to honor them for their important contributions."

"We are delighted that Warren's many years of dedicated research in climate science are being recognized with this extraordinary honor," said Roger Wakimoto, NCAR director. "His scientific leadership, innate diplomacy, as well as the mentorship to future generations of scientists have deeply and profoundly impacted our field."

Richard Anthes, president of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), which manages NCAR, added: "It is a well-deserved honor for Warren as well as the atmospheric sciences, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the UCAR and NCAR community.  Warren is a wonderful scientist who has been at the forefront of climate modeling for 40 years.  Even more importantly, he is a kind and generous person."

Washington is an internationally recognized expert on atmospheric science and climate research and a pioneer in using computer models, which employ fundamental laws of physics to predict future states of the atmosphere, to study Earth's climate. He has served as a science advisor to former presidents Carter, Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush, published almost 200 papers in professional journals, and garnered dozens of national and international awards. He also served on the National Science Board for 12 years and was its chair for 2002 to 2006.

Washington became one of the first developers of groundbreaking atmospheric computer models in collaboration with his colleague, Akira Kasahara, when he came to NCAR in the early 1960s. With support from NSF and the Department of Energy, Washington subsequently worked to incorporate the oceans and sea ice into climate models. Such models were used extensively in the 2007 assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, for which Washington and a number of scientists at NCAR and around the world shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

"I am very pleased to receive this honor, which recognizes not only my work but that of my many colleagues whom I've had the pleasure of working with for more than 45 years," Washington said. "Akira Kasahara and Jerry Meehl, at NCAR, contributed significantly to the development of computer climate models, and support from NSF and the Department of Energy enabled us to make research advancements that I hope will contribute to mankind's ability to sustain this planet." 

As the second African-American to earn a doctorate in the atmospheric sciences, Washington has served as a role model for generations of young researchers from many backgrounds, mentoring numerous undergraduate and graduate students. In 1999, Washington won the Dr. Charles Anderson Award from the American Meteorological Society "for pioneering efforts as a mentor and passionate support of individuals, educational programs, and outreach initiatives designed to foster a diverse population of atmospheric scientists."

Washington was born and grew up in Portland, Oregon. He became interested in science in grade school, going on to earn a bachelor's degree in physics and master's degree in meteorology from Oregon State University, and then a doctorate in meteorology from Pennsylvania State University. In 1963, he joined NCAR as a research scientist.

-----National Medal of Science-----

The National Medal of Science was created by statute in 1959 and is administered for the White House by the National Science Foundation. Awarded annually, the medal recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science and engineering. Nominees are selected by a committee of presidential appointees based on their extraordinary knowledge in, and contributions to, the biological, behavioral/social, and physical sciences, as well as chemistry, engineering, computing, and mathematics.

This year's recipients are:

Yakir Aharonov, Chapman University, CA

Stephen J. Benkovic, Pennsylvania State University, PA

Esther M. Conwell, University of Rochester, NY

Marye Anne Fox, University of California, San Diego, CA

Susan L. Lindquist, Whitehead Institute, Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, MA

Mortimer Mishkin, National Institutes of Health, MD

David B. Mumford, Brown University, RI

Stanley B. Prusiner, University of California, San Francisco, CA

Warren M. Washington, National Center for Atmospheric
Research, CO

Amnon Yariv, California Institute of Technology, CA

Page 6 of 22