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Installing Unified Networking Fabric in Virtualized Data Centers

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Installing Unified Networking Fabric in Virtualized Data Centers

For many organizations, the benefits of virtualization have been limited by the complexities of networking virtualized servers. I/O demands increase as virtual machines are added to each physical server, which requires adding more ports than were necessary for traditional networking connectivity. A typical virtualized server may use 8–10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) LAN ports and two dedicated storage area network (SAN) ports.

As server virtualization continues to take root, 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) and unified networking are helping organizations overcome connectivity challenges and simplify the data center infrastructure. Unified networking enables consolidation of multiple GbE connections onto a single 10GbE adapter to help reduce cable and infrastructure complexity and overall total cost of ownership. Enhancements to the Ethernet standard and ratification of the Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) specification enable IT departments to realize increased benefits by cost-effectively converging data and storage infrastructures. Open-FCoE uses the Fibre Channel network, service, and protocol layers and carries data packets over the Ethernet physical and data link layers. The Data Center Bridging (DCB) standard enhances 10GbE connectivity by providing quality-of-service features needed to create a lossless, unified Ethernet fabric for storage.

These technologies, together with Intel® Ethernet X520 server adapters on Dell PowerEdge* servers, now enable LAN, NAS, iSCSI SAN, and Fibre Channel SAN traffic over one 10GbE wire. Combined, Dell servers and Intel® Ethernet Server Adapters can deliver a cost-effective and high-performing connection to the storage network and help accelerate the move to 10GbE-based I/O consolidation.

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