10GbE and FCoE and DCB: Ready for the Evolution of SAN Fabrics?
sponsored by Dell, Inc.

As economic conditions recover in 2010 many organizations will be looking to evolve their IT operations with new datacenter technologies while enhancing business processes. Server and storage consolidation through virtualization technology has been an essential element to this evolution by helping administrators contain operational expenditures (OPEX) and capital expenditures (CAPEX). However, as IT consolidation increases overall utilization and I/O density of our virtualized data centers, the network is emerging as the new bottleneck and an area primed for innovation. In short, we simply need a larger “pipe” for communications to extend the benefits of IT consolidation through virtualization to the network.

Fortunately, new networking protocols have been swiftly making their way through the standards committees including 10 Gb Ethernet and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE). These new standards go by several names: “Converged Enhanced Ethernet,” “Data Center Ethernet,” and the industry-standard term “Data Center Bridging,” or DCB. Vendors are increasingly integrating these networking capabilities in new server, switch and Storage Area Network (SAN) designs that will lower overall deployment costs in 2010 and beyond. This article will provide an overview of the reasons DCB is being developed and how it can improve networking in the data center for applications, servers, and storage.

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