10Gb Ethernet: Taking Virtualization to the Next Level

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With its huge potential for saving money and improving operational efficiency, virtualization has come as a boon to cash-strapped Federal CTOs. Not only can it substantially reduce the cost of running data centers and corporate networks through more efficient use of both hardware and software, it can also significantly reduce the number of physical devices on the network, thus considerably lowering the complexity of managing the network infrastructure. Whether it’s greater performance that you seek, or reliability, availability, scalability, consolidation, agility or a unified management domain, virtualization is your best bet for supporting public sector IT modernization goals.

Virtualization will however, result in more traffic in the consolidated area. Rather than merely adding more virtual servers, what is required is to create a converged infrastructure that allows all resources to be shared. This way storage, bandwidth, and applications can be reallocated based on current workload and organizational need, without them mixing with or disrupting other partitioned resources in the system.

10 GbE: The New Thing in Networking

As virtualization efforts evolve, you run into networking challenges, and that’s the time you should begin to think about laying the groundwork for the adoption of 10 Gigabit Ethernet in the data center. The shift toward 10 Gigabit Ethernet means more than moving to a higher bandwidth. It means re-examining your entire network architecture. Higher thorough-put from the 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches allows you to connect server racks and top-of-rack switches directly to the core network, obviating the need for an aggregation layer. Now that high-speed network technologies like 10 Gigabit Ethernet have become widely available, several new solutions have been developed to consolidate network and storage I/O into small numbers of higher bandwidth connections.

How 10GbE Works

10 GbE technology is used primarily to interconnect switches and routers. By separating data and routing information, it allows you to control your own IP address routing and make the changes you want. You do not have to share your routing scheme with your service providers. And you can support both IP and non-IP based protocols. The latest 10 Gigabit Ethernet rack-top switches now support the same 48-port density as 1 Gigabit Ethernet switches, which means you do not lose valuable rack space when upgrading to 10 Gigabit Ethernet.

The primary advantage of 10 GbE technology is the sharp reduction in the number of adapters and ports required for a server. In addition to the usage of fewer physical devices, you also save valuable floor space, as well as power and cooling resources.

The Benefits of 10 Gigabit Ethernet

With applications becoming increasingly bandwidth-intensive, faster networking solutions are required to improve network connectivity while maintaining high reliability levels. 10 GbE technology provides the perfect solution to meet this requirement. In addition to increasing network speed, it also offers the following:

  •  Potentially lowest total cost-of-ownership in terms of expenditure on infrastructure, maintenance costs and the involvement of human capital
  • Quick and easy migration to higher performance levels
  • Proven plug and play integration capability using your existing infrastructure
  • Familiar network management feature set that involves hardly any learning curve

Upgrading to 10 Gigabit Ethernet is a great way for Federal agencies to get better results from their server virtualization and infrastructure consolidation initiatives. It provides a significant increase in bandwidth while ensuring full compatibility with existing interfaces, thus protecting your investment on cabling, equipment, processes, and Ethernet based training. It retains your existing Ethernet architecture, including the Media Access Control (MAC) protocol and the Ethernet frame format and frame size.

But the biggest benefits of 10GbE come from having fewer servers and less storage gear plugged in. You can deploy just two 10 Gigabit Ethernet instead of using four to eight 1 Gigabit Ethernet in each server, and still achieve full redundancy for availability and additional room for expansion. In terms of scalability a 10 Gigabit Data center enables terabits of aggregate traffic without adding more layers to the network. Additionally it simplifies the network design by eliminating congestion points and reduces the need for complex QOS schemes.

Here’s a run down on the benefits of a consolidated and virtualized 10 GbE data center:

  • Enables flexible, dynamic and scalable network infrastructure
  • Reduces overall physical connection count
  • Provides high availability and redundancy
  • Improves server utilization and application efficiency
  • Reduces power consumption
  • Offers significant cost benefits

With network traffic increasing inexorably by the day, Federal data center managers need to look for faster network technologies to solve increased bandwidth demands. 10 Gigabit Ethernet offers ten times faster performance than Gigabit Ethernet, allowing you to reach longer distances and support even more bandwidth hungry applications, making it the natural choice for expanding, extending, and upgrading existing Ethernet networks. 10 Gigabit Ethernet helps you get the best out of your virtualized environment.

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