Posts Tagged Infrastructure 3.0

Notes from QLogic Q2’10 Earnings Call

As usual, Intel’s earnings were a bellwether for the high tech market.  Since their positive earnings last week, Apple, EMC, VMware and now QLogic have had solid earnings.

Summary of Remarks from QLogic CEO H.K.Desai

QLogic reported a Net Revenue of $142.6M, “a 16% increase in net revenue and a significant increase in profitability from the first quarter of last year” and seeing growth on FC HBAs, InfiniBand and Converged Network products. Gross Margin corporate average sits around 65% (forecast for the next quarter is 65.5%-66%).  Some general macro economic “nervousness”, especially in Europe.

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Can Brocade Remain Independent?

I’ve been discussing the changing IT infrastructure with a number of vendors.  Getting schedules to line up, especially in the summer can be difficult, and after a last-minute cancellation of a meeting with Brocade, I sent a note on Twitter (above).  It got a lot of responses, so I thought I would give my thoughts on Brocade.  Rumors of Brocade being acquired have floated around for many years and M&A activity is always a hot topic for press and bloggers.  I have no insider information about any activity, but have worked with Brocade (and most of the companies it has acquired) for 10 years.  How would an acquisition affect the legacy FC market or the their entrance into Ethernet?

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VM Sprawl Just Got More Expensive

VMware is taking a page from cloud service providers – delivering a change in pricing that maps to more of a pay-as-you-go model. Wikibon CIOs consistently are looking for ways to deliver on-demand services and this move by VMware is a step in that direction. Since Wikibon launched there has been an emphasis in coverage on the consumerization of IT and this new pricing change by VMware advances that philosophy. Internal IT organizations increasingly must benchmark themselves against cloud service providers and honestly assess the merits of outsourcing. The move by VMware underscores the need for more judicious management of virtual machines and transparent chargebacks that provide visibility on resources consumed. Customers that do not pay close attention to this issue will end up paying more for virtualization software– so buyer beware.

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vSphere 4.1 Storage Networking Updates

There are a lot of pieces to today’s announcement of VMware vSphere 4.1.  The biggest part of the announcement is the vStorage APIs for Array Integration (VAAI) – it is also well covered through press releases and blog posts. I’m going to capture the impact on storage networking (FC, iSCSI and FCoE).  VMware also has a reference center which includes many papers discussing the new functionality.  VMware’s full support of FC, iSCSI and FCoE is an area that differentiates it from Microsoft.  Microsoft is a strong proponent of iSCSI and does have full support of FC, but it is lacking with FCoE.

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Cisco’s Rip and Replace Dilemma

Current network topologies are inadequate to meet the flexibility and scalability demands of burgeoning virtualized data center environments.  New switches and new network architectures are emerging that transform the data center to Infrastructure 2.0 (comment or edit a vendor-independent definition of Infrastructure 2.0 on the wiki).  Users should be aware that moving to this new environment is a disruptive, rip and replace initiative that requires substantial planning.  Despite this caveat, a modernization process provides the opportunity to streamline current siloed infrastructure spanning network and servers in a virtualized context.

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Cisco Status Update – Analysis from Cisco Live – Adjacencies and Fierce Competition

One of Cisco’s biggest strengths – it’s size – leads to one of its greatest challenges, how to keep growing.  CEO John Chambers explained Cisco’s strategy in his keynote at Cisco Live – see a replay of his keynote here (Chambers starts 14 min into the video).. While Cisco is a dominant force in networking, HP’s efforts to commoditize the networking market and the rise of innovators such as Juniper, Arista and others threaten the company’s core business. The key question remains, will Cisco’s moves into adjacent markets, which will take years to materialize, be worth opening new competitive fronts against the likes of IBM, HP and even Apple?

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HP Ends the Protocol Wars

What is the best protocol for virtualized environments?  For years we’ve been hearing arguments for NFS, iSCSI and FC (and more recently FCoE).  This week HP sent a strong message with their Virtual Connect Flex Fabric launch that the answer is YES! In the new BladeSystem G7, customers can Wire Once and support NFS, iSCSI, FCoE or FC.  This is an industry first for a switch module which can dynamically support FC and Ethernet.

There is a great write-up of the new BladeSystem G7 on Kevin Houston’s Blades Made Simple blog (the photo above is also from his site).

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Wire Once While Staying Flexible

When companies plan their data center infrastructure, there is always uncertainty. When servers, storage and networks are deployed, there is usually a lot of guessing around the memory, bandwidth and storage required.  The growth and changes in an environment are also very difficult to predict and manage.  Host adapters – including NICs (Ethernet), HBAs (FC), HCA (InfiniBand) and CNAs (FCoE) – and the appropriate cabling is a piece of the infrastructure that can see a lot of variability.  Historically, each deployment gets the type and number of adapters that are believed to be necessary for a deployment.  The initial cost of the adapters and cables must be justified.  Separate adapters are often required for each application according to management or security best practices.  As the environment changes, new adapters and cables are added.  The problem with this seemingly flexible environment is that adding/changing adapters and moving cabling is a very manual and time consuming process.

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Does 10Gb Ethernet Change the Competitive Landscape?

We are in the midst of an inflection point in the network industry with the adoption of 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE).  The adoption curve for 10GbE hit the knee of the S-Curve last year.  The big question for industry watchers is will Cisco maintain its dominance in the Ethernet market?

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Can You Really Build an All-Ethernet Data Center with FCoE?

Let’s take a hypothetical customer who is looking to build a new data center and they would like to embrace the latest and greatest technologies.  Can they construct an entire environment built with a Converged Network – an all-Ethernet environment?  This post will focus on the technology and ecosystem.

The Single Network

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