Storage and Network Convergence

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Introduction In conventional datacenters, there were two networks. One used for local area network which was built on Ethernet, was used by users to access applications running on servers. And the second one often built on Fiber channel, which connects servers to the storage module where mountains of data are stored. Both networks require huge capital investment, each requiring specialized hardware. Both networks have vastly different management tools, which require staff with different skill sets to build, maintain and manage. With the proliferation of datacenter, equipment density and power consumption became more critical than ever. Thus the cost of maintenance and total cost of ownership began to increase. With the introduction of cloud computing and server virtualization, the need for uniform designs rather than traditional three-tier-datacenter architecture became more inevitable. Even though the concept of 10Gb Ethernet has been envisioned for a long time, it was never put into practice. Surveys show that most of the companies still have less than 30 percent of their servers connected to 10Gb Ethernet. Enterprises rely on their infrastructure to provide many services. As the demand of services grew, enterprises had to scale their infrastructure. This resulted in an infrastructure sprawl due to the increase in number of servers, network and storage devices. This in turn resulted in increased costs, real estate, cooling requirements, management complexity etc.
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