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I/O Considerations for Server Blades, Backplanes, and Data Centers

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I/O Considerations for Server Blades, Backplanes, and Data Centers

I/O Considerations for Server Blades, Backplanes, and the Datacenter

This paper looks at modular computing objectives and identifies the emerging I/O properties necessary to achieve those goals. It highlights the differences in I/O architectures between server blades and traditional pedestal servers. It addresses management and properties of I/O resources, such as sharing and access control, as datacenters transition to a unified fabric and simplify server I/O to virtualize datacenter computing.

Enterprise modular computing

Storage virtualization is not new. File-based storage abstracts physical blocks into virtual files. For block-based storage, RAID1 abstracts physical sets of disk drives into one or more virtual volumes. Automation is not a new concept either; however, the degree of automation is growing and the need to dynamically re-provision resources as compute loads change is driving new requirements on modularity. Modularity enables compute, storage, and network resources to scale independently. The focus of modularity is on the server. That is, while storage and networking are very modular, traditionally servers have been designed for particular applications. Web servers have different I/O properties than application servers, which differ from database servers. The goal is to separate the I/O properties from the compute complex (i.e., CPU and memory) and thus morph server platforms into server modules that are extremely versatile. Pools of server modules will replace dedicated server platforms and the notion of a server platform changes from being a machine with its application and I/O, to being a set of compute resources, applications, and storage that are associated to provide virtual server platforms.

Read the full I/O Considerations for Server Blades, Backplanes, and Data Centers Paper.