Steve Duplessie, in his own unique way, rightfully said we (Emulex) were tickled with the announcements this week from Cisco, VMware, EMC and HP around how convergence and 10Gb Ethernet (10GbE) will be used to connect the next generation of clouds and the data center on the whole (See: http://www.thebiggertruth.com/2009/11/vce-between-the-lines/).
Obviously, it is great to hear major players in the industry talk about the technology and solutions you sell in a positive light, and even better when those solutions are a core foundation of their key initiatives.
To me, the most significant thing about Steve’s blog is his comment, “The world of IT works like this,” if the big guys announce stuff, the rest of the IT world generally follows. However, these announcements are usually the culmination of years of standards work, many generations of development and many startups plowing the new ground to get major players ready to take a stand publicly. This next step into the virtual data center and clouds services is very interesting because it starts with some big fish talking about it first. Yes, they are using lots of building blocks from their construction kits, but it is a new architecture, even if they use many of the same materials.
So, yes, are we tickled! If you look at VCE, HP FlexFabric and IBM Virtual Fabric Solution, they are virtualized, state-less architectures and use networking to reach storage, the cloud and everything else. The cloud is all about delivering the right class of service to every IT need, and the dynamic provisioning tool inherent in 10Gb Enhanced Ethernet-based network convergence is a perfect complement to this solution. Why? It leverages the four core values of the network convergence model:
Enhanced Ethernet-based networking convergence provides support for the core networking, clustering and storage protocols required to deploy the cloud and lower networking costs.
- 10GbE Virtualized Network Interface Cards (NICs) and Universal Converged Network Adapters (UCNAs) – Deploying networking on virtual machines (VMs) requires the same type of hardware redundancy and network segregation as traditional servers, and the ability to create virtual NICs, iSCSI and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) adapters gives IT managers the flexibility required to deploy separate and redundant connections for Local Area Network (LAN) management, IP networking and storage (NAS, iSCSI and FCoE).
- Pay-As-You-Go I/O – One of the key value propositions of the cloud is the ability to pay-as-you-go for resources, and Emulex’s UCNAs provide the same business model for networking to these new architectures.
- Unified Management – Consolidation and dynamic control via unified management of resources for each management domain is provided for applications, LAN and storage with a single security model.
So yes, we are tickled to see how network convergence is being used in the market by our OEM and ecosystem partners. We also think IT managers will see a path forward that protects their current investments.