Five Bulletproof Arguments for Unified Networking

In today’s data centers, unified networking based on 10Gb Ethernet (10GbE) is the right thing to do for many reasons. But let’s simplify things and focus on five bulletproof arguments for converging the networking in your data center. Most of these arguments revolve around flexibility and choice.

Allocate network bandwidth in a flexible manner.  A unified network based on 10GbE gives you the ability to use traffic shaping technologies, such as Citrix NetScaler and F5 solutions. These technologies allow you allocate network bandwidth in a flexible manner to improve application performance and availability.

Use the best storage for the workload. Your networking choices shouldn’t dictate your storage choices. With 10GbE, you can choose the best storage for the workload. You might choose direct-attached storage (DAS) for database-driven workloads that require the fastest response times and dedicated storage resources while using network-attached storage (NAS) for file-level data sharing. The key: a 10GbE network gives you the flexibility to match storage price and performance with workload requirements.

Simplify I/O virtualization. Most I/O virtualization is taking place today on unified networks. Many vendors are developing I/O virtualization technologies based on 10 GbE. The message is clear: If you want to virtualize I/O—from physical ports to the PCIe bus within servers—begin by unifying your network.

Expand your choice of protocols. A unified network makes it easier to deploy and use cost-effective solutions based on NFS, iSCSI, and Fibre Channel over

Ethernet (FCoE) protocols. These protocols are becoming de facto standards for network stacks—and the most cost-effective solutions always come from standards. Better still, when you adopt FCoE, you gain the benefits of 10GbE while protecting your existing FC investments.

Simplify staff training and network operations. With a unified network, you don’t have to have separate operators and management tools for different sides of your network. Everyone can become well versed in 10GbE and the protocols that run on it. Everyone can use the same set of tools. And everyone can spend more time on optimizing resources to make your network operate more efficiently.

Questions? Comments? Let me know.