To say that server virtualization has taken the data center by storm is an understatement. It is already one of the most dramatic technology transitions in the past several decades, and will be a core IT tool well into the next decade. Emulex is just as passionate about the success of network convergence. We expect network convergence to take the data center by storm over the next decade and become a core technology deployed in the following decade as Ethernet moves from 10Gb/s to 40Gb/s and even 100Gb/s. In a recent meeting with my sales guys, they asked us for some silver bullet points on how Emulex and network convergence help improve server virtualization.
Here is our list:
- 1. Lower Cost of Connectivity/VM – Network convergence lowers the cost of connectivity by supporting IP and storage on a single wire that consolidates NICs/HBA connectivity, switching, cabling, rack space, power and cooling. To learn more check out the Convergenomics calculator.
- 2. Fast, Simple and Dynamic Provisioning of Bandwidth for each VM – converged networking based on 10GbE has the ability to set bandwidth provisioning for each initiator. This allows better Quality of Service (QoS) for each VM.
3. Take Your Pick Storage: IP for NAS, iSCSI or FCoE – One of the best parts of network convergence is bringing all the storage options into one place. Now you can configure each VM with the right type of storage for the applications and provisioning tools of enhanced Ethernet to match the workload to the bandwidth.
4. Unified Management of Network Management – Don’t you hate learning new user interfaces for multiple tools and then having one tool break the settings on another device? Our unified OneCommand management suite simplifies and integrates IP, storage and the cluster in one easy to use tool. Now you have less to learn and you can get more done.
5. VM Mobility in 3 Dimensions (Servers, bandwidth, protocol) – Not only can your VM move across physical servers with SAN connectivity, but you can also move the bandwidth up or down to match the increased CPU resources. You can also migrate across protocols as required, with some required data migration, should you choose this route.
6. 20% More VM/s per CPU with vEngine – Fewer CPU cycles spent on storage means more available cycles for running VMs. Emulex’s vEngine CPU off-load technology can reduce the overhead of both networking and storage on the CPU to run more VMs/CPU See: Emulex HBA Performance with Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V.
7. Faster Deployment of New Servers – Less is more when it comes to network convergence, having a single 10GbE wire for IP and all of your storage options (NAS, iSCSI, FCoE) makes it faster and simpler to deploy new servers which is one of the key reason for using server virtualization in the first place.
8. Simplified Security – Network Convergence also means security convergence now you can set a single policy for all connectivity and simplify the process, lower the costs and help with regularity issues.
9. Solve the Challenges of Virtualization Aggregation – According to IDC, the number of virtual machines (VMs) per server is expected to triple with the introduction of Xeon 5500 processors. This means you will need three times the I/O performance, and if you know you are going to need it over the lifecycle of your new computer processing units (CPUs), it will cost less in the end to move to network converge 10GbE now.
10. Business Continuity and Service Level Agreements – When it comes to business continuity and Service Level Agreements (SLAs), less time spent moving data is a big win. Moving to 10GbE network convergence reduces back-up and data migration windows, which provides greater availability of business applications, and helps to improve productivity and the organization’s bottom line.
Network Convergence and Server Virtualization are made for each other. And I hope this let makes it easy to see how network convergence will make life easier in the data center.