Posts Tagged networking
Today in NYC, QLogic launched a new product line – a 10Gb Intelligent Ethernet adapter, Converged Network Adapter and Converged LOM – and presented their strategy to financial analysts. While a third generation product family announcement may not sound exciting, QLogic’s announcement of converged networking products is not just another turn of the crank. The solutions that can be deployed increase the FCoE ecosystem and give customers and vendors unprecedented flexibility for 10Gb Ethernet solutions. QLogic also shared its vision the full data center portfolio including security and virtualization components.
Virtualization changes almost everything. It doesn’t change the laws of physics, but it does impact networking in many other ways. At VMworld 2010 in San Francisco, Wikibon co-founder Dave Vellante and SiliconANGLE founder John Furrier sat down with QLogic SVP Scott Genereux to discuss the impact of virtualization on networking and how QLogic is uniquely positioned in the market. Genereux states that only QLogic can meet the broad needs of OEMs, supporting FC, Ethernet (iSCSI and FCoE) and InfiniBand solutions.
Virtualization Impact on Networking
Howie Xu, R&D Director from VMware, put forth a vision of VMware’s direction for the future of networking, the challenges faced and VMware’s current thinking on how these issues should be solved. As part of the transformation of IT to create more scalable and flexible environments (what VMware and others would call the journey to the cloud), networking has some changes to make. It is VMware’s direction that to fully enable the mobility of network traffic, that more of the networking infrastructure that is currently in hardware should be moved into the networking layer. Networking switch hardware has mostly avoided the consumerization of IT, will custom switch ASICS become just another application for x86?
VMware Director of R&D Howie Xu will be presenting The Future Direction of Networking Virtualization at VMworld 2010 in San Francisco (9am Monday 8/30 and 4:30pm Wednesday 9/1) and Copenhagen. In a preview video, Howie states that “VMware will be announcing an open, extensible networking virtual chassis platform, a Network OS or networking hypervisor, so that anyone can develop the on-demand networking service on top of vSphere.” There will also be services built on top of the platform. On the top-right corner of the white board at the beginning of the video is a term “vFabric” – could this be the name of the new platform? UPDATE: Howie Xu contacted me and let me know that “vFabric” is not related to the virtual chassis for network services which will be announced at VMworld.
This morning there were two announcements, that were really non-announcements, related to FCoE:
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?