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Driver support Windows 7 / NetEffect / RDMA

Community Manager

Hi Guys,

It seems that there is no driver support for the NetEffect cards for Windows 7-64 (Client OS).

Server 2008 is however supported. As far as I understand the code base for both OS-es.

So are there technical limitations or is this a 'marketting' decision?

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3 Replies

NetEffect™ Ethernet Server Cluster Adapters were designed with features for servers. One of the advantages of these adapters is RDMA support, which is not available in Windows 7. You are correct that the NDIS drivers for Windows Server 2008 would probably work in Windows 7. There is no technical reason why the adapters would not work. However, Intel does no testing in Microsoft Windows client operating systems on these adapters and does not have drivers that have been qualified with Windows 7.

We do have a several Intel® Ethernet 10-gigabit adapters that do have Windows 7 drivers and support available.The Intel® Ethernet X520 Server Adapter Family


would be a good choice (unless you are using CX-4.)

Mark H

Community Manager

Hi, thanks for the quick reply. I have some problem with my account so sorry for the late response.

Somewhat more context about my question.

I am looking at a 10GbE ethernet solutions for streaming video (a dedicated link between 2 machines (preferable running Windows 7-64)).

One of the requirements is to do this at a low CPU load (low latency is another). One of the Intel Articles on I/OAT explains that 30% of the overhead is caused by memory copies and that NetDMA helps in reducing the overhead.

However I read that NetDMA will not be supported in Windows 8 ( NetDMA ). So for my solution to be somewhat future prove I need to look for some other technology.

Some questions:

- What is Intel's roadmap wrt. this (I got the impression I should look at RDMA)?

- Are the options to use the Windows Client OS or do I need the server version for this?

- Which other directions could/should I explore?




I am sorry for the delay in responding.

Intel® I/O Acceleration Technology is alive and well as a technology that includes a collection of performance enhancement features. However, the Direct Memory Access engine that you read about was enabled by the Intel® QuickData device driver, which has not been used in networking since the Xeon® 5300 based servers. Newer generations of servers contain newer features that removed any performance benefit to using that engine in networking.

Even though you might need the latest server to take advantage of all the latest acceleration features, you can still configure some options in Windows 7 that will help lower latency. The first thing that comes to my mind is the low latency interrupts supported in the Intel® Ethernet Server Adapter X520-T2. To lessen the load on the system, network drivers use interrupt moderation. I won't go into each of the options here, but LLI works with TCP PSH flag or with configurable TCP ports. If the streaming video is using UDP, which I am guessing is the case, then the LLI option will not help you.

Another option you can configure is the interrupt moderation rate. The default is adaptive, which dynamically adjusts the interrupt rate depending on traffic type and network usage. Using interrupt moderation lessens the utilization of the CPU, so turning interrupt moderation off increases CPU utilization. You could try experimenting with other settings to see if you can get a good balance of CPU utilization and low enough latency. I cannot say if you will be able to achieve your specific latency and CPU utilization goals by adjusting this parameter. Nevertheless, if you want big bandwidth, then I would recommend giving the Intel® Ethernet Server Adapter X520-T2 adapters a try.

As to your questions about the roadmap, I am unable to talk about that.

I hope this helps.

Mark H