The Solarflare SFN7122F 2x10 GbE SFP+ Flareon Ultra Adapter for IBM® System x® is a high-performance dual-port 10 GbE adapter that enables the lowest latency networking solutions for electronic/high frequency trading and other latency-sensitive applications.
Table of contents
The Solarflare SFN7122F 2x10 GbE SFP+ Flareon Ultra Adapter for IBM® System x® (SFN7122F adapter) is a high-performance dual-port 10 GbE adapter that enables the lowest latency networking solutions for electronic/high frequency trading and other latency-sensitive applications.
The adapter accelerates HPC and Hadoop by providing high message rate and low latency interconnects for compute clusters. The adapter's CPU offload along with high performance enables servers to provide more services to more users in cloud and grid environments.
The following figure shows the adapter.
Figure 1. Solarflare SFN7122F 2x10 GbE SFP+ Flareon Ultra Adapter for IBM System x
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With a latency of less than 2 microseconds, the SFN7122F adapter, when combined with OpenOnload application acceleration middleware, offers upwards of 25% lower latency than the SFN6122F adapter. This extremely low latency is ideal for the financial services industry, where low latency and high performance TCP and UDP processing are important attributes for a network interface.
Part number information
The following table provides the ordering part number and feature code for the SFN7122F adapter.
Table 1. Ordering part number and feature code
|Part number||Feature code||Description|
|47C9977||A522||Solarflare SFN7122F 2x10GbE SFP+ Flareon Ultra Adapter for IBM System x|
The adapter option part number includes the following items:
- One adapter with a full height PCIe bracket attached
- One low profile PCIe bracket (included in the box)
- Support CD
- Important Notices Flyer
Note: The adapter ships without any SFP+ transceivers or direct attach cables. These items must be ordered separately (for details, see Table 2 and Table 3).
Supported transceivers and direct-attach cables
The SFN7122F adapter has two empty SFP+ cages that support SFP+ SR transceivers and Twinax direct attached copper cables, as shown in Table 2 and Table 3.
Table 2. Supported SFP+ transceivers
|Part number||Feature code||Description|
|49Y4216||0069||Brocade 10Gb SFP+ SR Optical Transceiver|
|46C3447||5053||IBM SFP+ SR Transceiver (10Gb)|
|49Y4218||0064||QLogic 10Gb SFP+ SR Optical Transceiver|
The maximum cable distance is 300 m using OM3 multimode fiber optic cable.
Table 3 lists the supported direct attach copper (DAC) cables.
Table 3. Supported direct attach copper cables
|Part number||Feature code||Description|
|Active DAC/Twinax cables|
|95Y0323||A25A||1m IBM Active DAC SFP+ Cable|
|95Y0326||A25B||3m IBM Active DAC SFP+ Cable|
|95Y0329||A25C||5m IBM Active DAC SFP+ Cable|
|Passive DAC/Twinax cables|
|00D6288||A3RG||.5m IBM Passive DAC SFP+ Cable|
|90Y9427||A1PH||1m IBM Passive DAC SFP+ Cable|
|00AY764||A51N||1.5m IBM Passive DAC SFP+ Cable|
|00AY765||A51P||2m IBM Passive DAC SFP+ Cable|
|90Y9430||A1PJ||3m IBM Passive DAC SFP+ Cable|
|90Y9433||A1PK||5m IBM Passive DAC SFP+ Cable|
Based on Solarflare's fourth-generation SFC9120 Ethernet controller, the SFN7122F adapter delivers dual-port, line-rate 10 Gbps throughput for moving large amounts of data and eliminating server I/O bottlenecks. The adapter delivers industry-leading network performance with ultra-low latency at the highest message rates.
The adapter has the following features:
- Delivers industry-leading performance, providing high throughput, low latency, and high processor efficiency, which improves the performance of network communications, network-attached storage, and remote file system access.
- Suitable for applications such as email, database, OLTP, data mining, web serving, and big data.
- Includes Solarflare's unique hardware-accelerated virtual channel architecture. Each virtual channel provides an independent channel between the network adapter and host software, allowing network I/O processing to be distributed efficiently over multiple processor cores. With 1024 virtual channels per port (2048 per adapter), I/O performance scales as the number of processor cores and virtual machines increase.
Note: In the Solarflare documentation, the virtual channel feature is referred to as vNIC. This feature is different from the IBM Virtual Fabric vNIC capability.
- Supports PCIe 3.0 with ultra-low latency features, such as direct packet transfer (Tx PIO) mode and the templated send API.
- Features hardware acceleration to optimize packet delivery, such as UDP multicast replication, integrated Layer 2 switching capability and VLAN insertion/removal, along with TCP segmentation offload (TSO) to reduce processor load.
- Supports Receive Flow Steering (RFS) acceleration, which improves processing efficiency by steering received packets to the processor core that is running the application that consumes those packets.
- Accelerates guest applications in leading hypervisors by efficiently distributing virtual machine network I/O traffic across multiple processor cores while supporting NetQueue and VMQ in VMware, and Microsoft VMQ in Hyper-V.
- At fewer than 6 watts, the adapter consumes less than half the power of the leading competitor's products, and can deliver 5x - 10x the efficiency of 1G Ethernet (Gbps per watt). This results in a power-efficient 10G network that can save thousands of dollars of operating costs for a typical data center
- Graphical user interface and scriptable command-line interface for ease of management.
In addition, the adapter supports the Solarflare OpenOnload application acceleration middleware on Linux operating systems. OpenOnload bypasses the network stack in the Linux kernel by dedicating a virtual channel to each accelerated application.
OpenOnload enables the following capabilities:
- Suitable for the most demanding, latency-sensitive applications in environments requiring the highest message rates.
- Delivers ultra-low latency and high throughput even as message rates increase.
- Enables accelerated application performance through TCP/IP, UDP, and multicast acceleration.
- Streamlines and reduces interrupts, context switches, and data copies.
- Reduces the processing that is associated with networking and improves processor core scaling.
- Increases message rates by 300% or more.
- Binary compatibility with industry standard APIs, so no software modifications are needed, and OpenOnload seamlessly integrates in to the existing infrastructure.
- A standards-based solution using TCP/IP and UDP, so no specialized protocols are needed.
Note: Solarflare OpenOnload runs only on non-Xen Linux distributions. Windows and VMware are not supported.
The SFN7122F adapter has the following specifications:
- Based on the Solarflare Solarstorm SFC9120 controller.
- Two 10GbE SFP+ ports with support for optical SFP+ modules and Direct Attach Copper (DAC) cables.
- Full line-rate performance across all ports.
- Very low latency:
- SFN7122F without OpenOnload: 6.3 µs (TCP) and 5.4 µs (UDP)
- SFN7122F with OpenOnload: 1.8 µs (TCP) and 1.7 µs (UDP)
- Low-profile form factor.
- PCI Express 3.0 x8 host interface for full, 40 Gbps bidirectional bandwidth.
- Jumbo Frames support (9216 byte frames).
- IEEE 802.1q VLAN support provides enhanced network management and efficiency.
- Support for VMware NetQueue and Microsoft VMQ improves network performance in virtualized environments.
- Support for NIC teaming.
- IEEE 802.3x flow control support.
- Receive Side Scaling (RSS) with 2048 virtual channels (1024 per port) distributes IPv4/IPv6 loads across processor cores.
- Accelerated Receive Flow Steering (RFS) intelligently aligns I/O processing with application processing to a single processor core by using on-chip advanced packet filtering.
- TCP, IP, and UDP checksum offload.
- IP flow filtering enables the hardware to steer packets that are based on IP, TCP, and UDP header contents to a virtual channel.
- MAC address filtering enables the hardware to steer packets that are based on the MAC address to a virtual channel.
- Advanced Packet Filtering: 4096 multicast filters, 4096 VLANs/port, adaptive TCP/UDP/IP, MAC, VLAN, RSS, and RFS filtering, and Accelerated Receive Flow Steering (RFS).
- Message Signaled Interrupts (MSI) and MSI-X support maximizes server processing performance by reducing processing impact and lowering interrupt latency.
- Supports Large Send Offload (LSO), Giant Send offload (GSO) TCP Segmentation Offload (TSO), and Large Receive Offload (LRO) for improved adapter performance and reduced processor utilization.
- Supports Intel QuickData, which uses host DMA engines to accelerate I/O.
- Supports SR-IOV.
- Supports iSCSI boot and PXE boot.
- Supports SNMP and ACPI 3.0.
- Power consumption (typical): 5.9 W.
The adapter has the following restrictions:
- No UEFI support. Adapter boot by using legacy BIOS only.
- No support for Wake on LAN (WoL).
- No support for Virtual Fabric.
- No support for Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE).
- No support for iSCSI offload.
- No support for Ethernet Virtual Bridge (EVB).
- No support for Converged Enhanced Ethernet (CEE).
- No support for TCP Offload Engine (TOE).
- PCI Express Base Specification, rev. 2.0
- PCI Express Card Electromechanical Specification, rev. 2.0
- PCI Bus Power Management Interface Specification, rev. 1.2
- IEEE 802.3ae (10 Gb Ethernet)
- IEEE 802.1Q (VLAN)
- IEEE 802.3ad (Link Aggregation)
- IEEE 802.1p (Priority Encoding)
- IEEE 802.3x (Flow Control)
- IPv4 (RFQ 791)
- IPv6 (RFC 2460)
- IEEE 802.3ae 10GBASE-SR short range fiber optics 10 Gb Ethernet
- 10GSFP+Cu SFP+ Direct Attach copper
The SFN7122F adapter is supported on the IBM System x servers that are listed in the following table.
Table 4. Server compatibility compatibility
|47C9977||Solarflare SFN7122F 2x10GbE SFP+ Flareon Ultra Adapter|
For the latest information about the System x servers that support each adapter, see the IBM ServerProven® website at the following address:
Supported operating systems
The SFN7122F adapter supports the following operating systems:
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Server Edition U10
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Server with Xen x64 Edition U10
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Server x64 Edition U10
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Server Edition U4
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Server x64 Edition U4
- SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 for AMD64/EM64T SP3
- SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 with Xen for AMD64/EM64T SP3
Solarflare OpenOnload is supported by the adapter only on non-Xen versions of Linux. Download the OpenOnload software from (no cost for registration is required) from the following website:
For the latest information about the specific versions and service packs that are supported, see the IBM ServerProven website at the following address:
Click System x servers, and then click LAN to see the support matrix. Select the check mark that is associated with the System x server in question to see the operating system support details.
The SFN7122F adapter has the following physical specifications (approximate):
- Length: 134 mm (5.3 in.)
- Width: 69 mm (2.7 in.)
- Height: Standard bracket 120 mm (4.725 in.); Low profile 79 mm (3.12 in.)
- Weight: 111 g (3.2 oz.) with standard bracket; 106 g (3.1 oz) with low profile bracket
Shipping box dimensions (approximate):
- Height: 189 mm (7.5 in.)
- Width: 90 mm (3.5 in.)
- Depth: 38 mm (1.5 in.)
- Weight: 205 g (7.0 oz.)
The SFN7122F adapter is supported in the following environment:
- Operating temperature: 0 to - 55 °C (32 to 131 °F)
- Storage temperature: -20 to 70 °C (-4 to 158 °F)
- Relative humidity (operating): 10% - 90%
- Relative humidity (storage): 5% - 95%
The SFN7122F adapter conforms to the following standards:
- UL60950-1 2nd edition 2011-12-19 (US)
- CSA C22.2 No.60950-1-07 (Canada)
- EN60950-1:2006+A12:2011 (Europe)
- IEC 60950-1:2005+A1:2009
- FCC CFR 47 Part 15 Class B (US)
- ICES 003 (Canada)
- EN60950 / CE (Europe)
- EN55022:2010 (Europe)
- EN55024:2010 (Europe)
- C Tick, AS/NZS, CISPR 22:2009 (Australia/New Zealand)
- VCCI, VCCI Regulations V-3 (Japan)
- KC, KN22, and KN24 (South Korea)
- BSMI and CNS 13438:2006 (Taiwan)
- RoHS compliant
Top-of-rack Ethernet switches
The SFN7122F adapter supports end-to-end 10 GbE connections to the top-of-rack Ethernet switches from IBM System Networking that are listed in the following table.
The maximum cable distance (optical) is 300 m using OM3 multi-mode fibre.
Table 5. IBM System Networking - Top-of-rack switches
|7309DRX||IBM System Networking RackSwitch™ G8264CS (Rear to Front)|
|7309DFX||IBM System Networking RackSwitch G8264CS (Front to Rear)|
|7309BD5||IBM System Networking RackSwitch G8124DC|
|7309BR6||IBM System Networking RackSwitch G8124ER|
|7309BF7||IBM System Networking RackSwitch G8124EF|
|7309G64||IBM System Networking RackSwitch G8264R|
|730964F||IBM System Networking RackSwitch G8264F|
|0719410||Juniper Networks EX4500 - Front to Back Airflow|
|0719420||Juniper Networks EX4500 - Back to Front Airflow|
For more information, see the IBM Redbooks® Product Guides in the top-of-rack switch category at the following website:
For more information, see the following documents:
- IBM US Announcement Letter:
- Networking adapters for IBM System x product page
- IBM System x Configuration and Options Guide:
- IBM System x and Cluster Solutions configurator (x-config):
- Device drivers, tools, and Solarflare Server Adapter User's Guide (no cost for registration is required):
- Solarflare SFN5162F MR and SFN6122F LL Dual Port 10GbE SFP+ Adapters for IBM System x:
This material has not been submitted to any formal IBM test and is published AS IS. It has not been the subject of rigorous review. IBM assumes no responsibility for its accuracy or completeness. The use of this information or the implementation of any of these techniques is a client responsibility and depends upon the client's ability to evaluate and integrate them into the client's operational environment. publib-b.boulder.ibm.com