SOURCE: Solarflare


May 24, 2011 08:00 ET

IBM and Solarflare Achieve Lowest Latency and Highest Message Rates With the IBM-BNT 10G/40G Ethernet Switch

IRVINE, CA--(Marketwire - May 24, 2011) - Solarflare, the 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) pioneer, today announced the results of a recently completed multi-vendor benchmark test with IBM. The vendors used the STAC-M2™ Benchmark to measure the messaging performance of the solution stack. Once again, Solarflare was chosen as the preferred 10GbE server adapter. The company has now participated in more audited STAC M2 benchmarks than any other 10GbE adapter vendor.

Using standard Ethernet and UDP protocols, the mean latency of the solution did not exceed 10 microseconds, while the standard deviation of the latency was measured at zero microseconds. At the highest tested rate of 2.3 million messages / second, the mean latency of the solution was just 14 microseconds, while the standard deviation of latency was measured at 2 microseconds. These results are significant for IT managers and Linux engineers building high-frequency trading systems because they show that a low-latency, highly-deterministic system that achieves near zero jitter can be built with standard, off-the-shelf Ethernet and IP network equipment. Other recent tests have used special protocols to get low latency, but at the cost of higher jitter, which is a highly undesirable trade off for high-frequency trading applications that require predictability and low jitter over the course of the trading day.

Since 2008, Solarflare's OpenOnload application acceleration middleware has proven its application transparency and protocol richness in 100s of demanding, mission-critical production environments in Chicago, Frankfurt, London and New York. IT managers designing high-speed, low-latency networks need compatibility with the control planes and data paths of TCP/IP, Ethernet and the Linux operating system. With OpenOnload, these customers get access to all the necessary Layer 2 and Layer 3 features, such as: virtual LAN trunking for the management, separation and security of IP traffic flows; link aggregation for failover and redundancy; address resolution protocol (ARP) caching for high-speed mapping of Ethernet to IP addresses; and Internet control message protocol (ICMP) notifications for network diagnostics and resiliency. Since Solarflare's middleware provides true transparency to POSIX sockets, designers of high-performance networks do not need to rewrite their applications to get the performance increase that the software provides. Solarflare's solution transparently supports the Linux networking functions required by high-frequency trading applications, such as poll, select, epoll, fork, exec, signals and comprehensive socket flags. The middleware also includes optimizations for concurrent socket access by multi-threaded applications, as well as support for fine-grained latency measurements, diagnostics and per-socket performance controls.

The tests were audited by STAC® (The Securities Technology Analysis Center). The highlights of the audited report are available to members with a premium subscription at and are available to the public at

The tested solution under test consisted of:

  • Solarflare SFN5122F 10GbE adapters with OpenOnload application acceleration middleware
  • IBM WMQ Low Latency Messaging v2.4.0.2
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS 5.5
  • 2x Quad-Core Intel Xeon X5570 2.93 GHz
  • IBM x3550 M2 Model Servers
  • IBM-BNT G8264 10Gb/40Gb Ethernet switch

All of the above products are available to financial firms today.

"In real world environments on Wall Street, the City of London and Frankfurt, Solarflare continues to win because we deliver protocol maturity, ease of use, application transparency and a rich Layer 2 and Layer 3 feature set, including support for VLAN trunking and high availability features, such as link aggregation control protocol (LACP) and multiple switch link aggregation (MLAG)," said Bruce Tolley, VP of solutions and outbound marketing at Solarflare. "We continue to look for opportunities to participate in STAC M2 Benchmark tests, so our customers can make informed decisions and build solutions with best-of-class elements, like Solarflare's 10GbE adapters and IBM messaging middleware, switches and servers."

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About Solarflare Communications, Inc.
Solarflare is the pioneer in high-performance, low-latency 10GbE server I/O solutions. Our architectural approach combines hardware and software to deliver high-performance adapter products and application acceleration middleware for superior performance in a wide range of applications, including financial services, high performance computing (HPC), cloud computing, storage and virtualized data centers. Our products are used globally by many of the world's largest companies, and are available from leading distributors and value-added resellers, as well as from Dell and HP. Solarflare is headquartered in Irvine, California and has an R&D site in Cambridge, UK. For more information, please visit

All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their registered owners.

Contact Information

  • Amy Robinson / Brittney Wolff
    LEWIS PR for Solarflare
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    Nicole E. Martin
    Solarflare Communications
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