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August 20th, 2020

Navigating Product Name Changes for Marvell Ethernet Adapters at HPE

By Todd Owens, Technical Marketing Manager, Marvell

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) recently updated its product naming protocol for the Ethernet adapters in its HPE ProLiant and HPE Apollo servers. Its new approach is to include the ASIC model vendor’s name in the HPE adapter’s product name. This commonsense approach eliminates the need for model number decoder rings on the part of Channel Partners and the HPE Field team and provides everyone with more visibility and clarity. This change also aligns more with the approach HPE has been taking with their “Open” adapters on HPE ProLiant Gen10 Plus servers. All of this is good news for everyone in the server sales ecosystem, including the end user. The products’ core SKU numbers remain the same, too, which is also good.

For HPE Ethernet adapters for HPE ProLiant Gen10 Plus and HPE Apollo Gen10 Plus servers, the name changes were fairly basic. Under this new naming protocol, HPE moved the name of the adapter’s manufacturer to the front and added “for HPE” to the end. For example, what was previously named “HPE Ethernet 10/25Gb 2-port SFP28 QL41232HLCU Adapter” is now “Marvell QL41232HLCU Ethernet 10/25Gb 2-port SFP28 Adapter for HPE”. The model number, QL41232HLCU, did not change.

The table below shows the new naming for the HPE adapters using Marvell FastLinQ I/O technology and makes it very easy to match up ASIC technology, connection type and form factor across the different products.

HPE SKU ORIGINAL HPE MODEL NEW SKU DESCRIPTION

867707-B21

521T

HPE Ethernet 10Gb 2-port BASE-T QL41401-A2G Adapter

P08446-B21

524SFP+

HPE Ethernet 10Gb 2-port SFP+ QL41401-A2G Adapter

652503-B21

530SFP+

HPE Ethernet 10Gb 2-port SFP+ 57810S Adapter

656596-B21

530T

HPE Ethernet 10Gb 2-port BASE-T 57810S Adapter

700759-B21

533FLR-T

HPE FlexFabric 10Gb 2-port FLR-T 57810S Adapter

700751-B21

534FLR-SFP+

HPE FlexFabric 10Gb 2-port FLR-SFP+ 57810S Adapter

764302-B21

536FLR-T

HPE FlexFabric 10Gb 4-port FLR-T 57840S Adapter

867328-B21

621SFP28

HPE Ethernet 10/25Gb 2-port SFP28 QL41401-A2G Adapter

867334-B21

622FLR-SFP28

HPE Ethernet 10/25Gb 2-port FLR-SFP28 QL41401-A2G CNA


Inevitably, there are a few challenges with the new approach, especially for the adapters used in Gen10 servers. The first is that the firmware in the adapters is not changing. So, when a customer boots up the server, the old model information, such as 524SFP+, will be displayed on the system management screens. The same applies to information passed from the adapter to other management software, such as HPE Network Orchestrator. However, in HPE’s configuration tools – One Config Advanced (OCA) – only the new names and model numbers appear, with no mention of the original numbers. This could create confusion when you’re configuring a system and it boots up, displaying a different model number than the one you are actually using.

Additionally, it is going to take some time for operating system vendors like VMware and Microsoft to update their hardware compatibility listings. Today, you can go to the VMware Compatibility Guide (VCG) and search on a 621SFP28 with no problem. But search on a QL41401 or QL41401-A2G, and you will come up empty. HPE is also working on updating its QuickSpec documents with the new naming, and that will take some time as well.

So, while the model number decoder rings are no longer required, you will need to have easy to access cross references to match the new name to the old model. To support you on this, we have updated all our key collateral for HPE-specific Marvell® FastLinQ® Ethernet adapters on the Marvell HPE Microsite. These documents were updated to include not only the new product names that HPE has implemented, but the original model number references as well.

Here are some links to the updated collateral:

Why Marvell FastLinQ for HPE? First, we are a strategic supplier to HPE for I/O technology. In fact, HPE Synergy I/O is based on Marvell FastLinQ technology. Value-add features like storage offload for iSCSI and FCoE and network partitioning are key to enabling HPE to deliver composable network connectivity on their flagship blade solutions.

In addition to storage offload, Marvell provides HPE with unique features such as Universal RDMA and SmartAN® technology. Universal RDMA provides the HPE customer with the ability to run either RoCE RDMA or iWARP RDMA protocols on a single adapter. So, as their needs for implementing RDMA protocols change, there is no need to change adapters. SmartAN technology automatically configures the adapter ports for the proper 10GbE or 25GbE bandwidth, and – based on the type of switch the adapter is connected to and the physical cabling connection – adjusts the forward error correction settings. FastLinQ adapters also support a variety of other offloads including SR-IOV, DPDK and tunneling. This minimizes the impact I/O traffic management has on the host CPU, freeing up CPU resources to do more important work.

Our team of I/O experts stands ready to help you differentiate your solutions based on industry leading I/O technology and features for HPE servers. If you need help selecting the right I/O technology for your HPE customer, contact our field sales and application engineering experts using the Contacts link on our Marvell HPE Microsite.

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