10 May Small Tree provides Apple drivers for Intel's new 10-gigabit Ethernet cards
High-speed enterprise networking now available for OS X
Eau Claire, Wis. – Small Tree Communications, continuing its development of multi-platform Ethernet capabilities, has released Mac OS X drivers for Intel’s new 10-gigabit Ethernet adapters.
At 10 times the speed of the Apple Xserve G5’s built-in Ethernet card, Intel’s Pro/10GbE SR Server Adapters are network cards targeted at high-performance media and file servers. They are now the fastest enterprise network devices available for Apple servers, according to a statement from Small Tree.
“The availability of 10Gb Ethernet is a major advancement for enterprise networking on the Mac,” said Corky Seeber, Small Tree’s president.
“It’s a signal that Apple is going to be able to compete in the enterprise server market,” added Seeber, who noted that this release means Intel’s new network adapters are available for the Mac at the same time as their release for Windows and Linux platforms.
Seeber said he hopes to push Apple computers into the server market. These cards could help.
“Mac OS X and our breakthrough server and storage solutions are increasingly being adopted in the enterprise,” said Ron Okamoto, Apple’s vice president of worldwide developer relations. “With Small Tree’s high-performance Ethernet Adapters, enterprise companies can benefit from expanded networking capabilities on the Mac while taking advantage of the reliability and blazing performance of Mac OS X, Xserve G5 and Xserve RAID.”
Using Small Tree’s drivers, the adapters work with the Power Mac G5, Xserve G4 and Xserve G5, runnning at least Mac OS 10.2.7.
They are connected with optical fiber cables, which can carry data up to 300 meters before a repeater is required. The 64-bit-capable, 133-megahertz cards fit in a PCI-X slot and use standard Ethernet protocols.
High-bandwidth networks could turn up in some unexpected places. While terms such as streaming video and media servers evoke images of the latest hip multimedia entertainment, enterprise servers with fast pipes are increasingly found in many places, such as hospitals and network backbones that serve university or business campuses.
“We see the need for 10GbE networking products throughout data centers as well as high-end server applications, such as aggregating GbE desktop systems, medical imaging and graphic design,” said Tom Swinford, general manager of Intel’s LAN access division.
This release comes on the heels of Small Tree’s multi-port gigabit ethernet cards for Apple G4 and G5 servers, as well as link-aggregation software, which allows multiple Ethernet ports to be combined into a single interface. All have been aimed at increasing the use of Apple systems as enterprise servers.
Now that Small Tree has successfully worked with Intel to bring one of it’s cards to the Mac, Seeber said he expects Intel will not make a move toward supporting its products on the Apple platform, but that Small Tree could enable it to provide cross-platform products.
Jason Stitt is a staff writer for the Wisconsin Technology Network and can be reached at email@example.com.