Converging the Data Center
Advanced infrastructure technologies
The adoption of virtualization technology in the data center has led to an initial wave of tangible benefits by reducing the amount of resources such as servers, power, and rack space that are required in a deployment. A second wave of benefits, including logical improvements in the responsiveness, flexibility, and agility of IT as a service-oriented operation, are also achievable. These improved IT capabilities are based upon the creation of a highly available, adaptive compute environment that scales to support elastic demands on IT resources. The convergence of the storage and data networking infrastructure complements the benefits of server virtualization and facilitates the evolution to a utility-based IT operation.
Benefits of Convergence
Reduced overhead and improved operational efficiency
Convergence lowers IT sprawl by greatly reducing the number of adapters, switch ports, and cables. It also results in lower power, space, and cooling requirements, translating into both lower capital (CAPEX) and operating (OPEX) expense burdens. Furthermore, standardizing on one underlying networking technology lowers management overhead and improves operational efficiency, as there is only one set of devices and tools to learn, operate, and support in the core infrastructure. Convergence can also offer investment protection, as properly selected new components will integrate with the existing LAN and SAN infrastructures.
Ethernet is the Fabric of Convergence
Data and storage networks managed on a single fabric
Ethernet’s ubiquitous deployment, faster speeds, and new lossless connectivity support combined with the development of Fibre Channel over Ethernet and the adoption of iSCSI make it ideal for the convergence of data and storage networks on a single fabric. Lossless Ethernet has been specifically designed and proven to meet the needs of storage applications in much the same way as existing storage networks do—by managing the flow of traffic onto the network to avoid congestion and the risk of packet loss for the storage traffic.
Driving Toward Service-Based,
Simplified configuration and management tasks
Network convergence and virtualization of the server, network, and storage infrastructures are driving the next-generation data center toward a service-based, cloud-enabled computing model. The first and most important step in creating a converged network is selecting the right converged network infrastructure.