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The Drive to Network Convergence

By Jason Blosil

By Jason Blosil

Modern data centers can be complex. The demands on IT have increased in part due to massive data growth, which by some estimates, is expected to grow as much as 800 percent over the next 5 years. Yet, as we have seen over the last two years of financial turmoil, the IT budgets to support this data growth have not kept pace. Even with some signs of economic recovery, the traditional way of doing business is being redefined. Companies of all sizes recognize the value of IT as a competitive advantage, but expect more efficient ways of doing business, while still providing the same levels of service.

Traditional data centers incur heavy costs by deploying multiple network infrastructures to service storage traffic, client traffic, and high-performance computing communications. Special or single purpose networks require incremental space, power, and cooling for hardware and cables resulting in increased capital and operational expenses. Each of these networks can be costly and complicated to manage. In some cases network bandwidth may also be underutilized as technology advances can outpace specific application requirements.

One of the solution areas designed to improve data center efficiency is network convergence. The combination of Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) and Ethernet enhancements known as data center bridging (DCB) allow for the consolidation of LAN and storage area network (SAN) traffic onto a 10Gb Ethernet network. The advantages include reductions in cabling and equipment associated with multiple redundant networks contributing to lower power and cooling costs and improved management and bandwidth utilization.

As part of the OFC/NFOEC 2011, the Ethernet Alliance will present a panel of industry experts from Brocade, Cisco, Intel and NetApp to discuss the topic of FCoE and network convergence. The panel will be held Wednesday, March 9 at 2 p.m. on the show floor and will include Q&A. More information about the planned Ethernet Alliance panels is available on the OFC/NFOEC website.

Jason Blosil
Product Marketing Manager, iSCSI Solutions

Posted: 17 February 2011 by Jason Blosil | with 0 comments

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The views expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition (OFC)  or its sponsors.