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When worlds combine-the convergence of storage and data networking
Data networking and storage networking have existed independently from each other, for the most part, since the early days of computing. The requirements of each were unique. Storage required high performance over relatively short distances with low latency and predictable performance. Data networking was willing to trade performance to gain distance, cost and operational flexibility. High-performance computing (HPC) applications have their own requirements, but tend to focus on latency and high throughput – much like storage networks. Approaches to handling the information carried were different, too. Storage systems expected the network to provide reliable delivery, while data networks gave best effort with the expectation that the applications running over them would handle any information lost in transit. These differing requirements led to a proliferation of specialized networking implementations in the datacenter, with each technology requiring operational and administrative expertise.