Using Converged Network Adapters for FCoE Network Unification

Many enterprises run two separate parallel networks in their data center.  Ethernet-based LANs are used to connect servers and clients and the internet.  Fiber channel based networks are used for connecting servers to SANs and block storage arrays for storing data,.

In late 2010 we determined that our existing 1GbE network infrastructure was no longer adequate to meet our rapidly growing business requirements and the resource demands of our increasingly virtualized environment.  Furthermore, to achieve the full benefits of the performance gains of the latest Intel processors and clustering technologies required network performance upgrades. 

Our solution, based on the extensive test results documented in this FCoE white paper, was to implement a unified network infrastructure using FCoE through dual-port 10Gb Intel Ethernet X520 server adapters.  As a result, we are able to reduce total network costs per server rack by more than 50% among other benefits described in the paper. 

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