Convergence, Storage Networks and Virtualization

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

As I stated in Competitive Positioning of Network Adapters: “While not the most glamorous of technologies, server host adapters are a critical component of IT infrastructure. Wikibon believes that the adapter marketplace will see a significant shake-up over the next three years due to the convergence of storage networks and traditional networks as part of the Infrastructure 2.0 trend.”  QLogic made a strategic move years ago to become a chip (ASIC) supplier to the industry, gaining design wins across server, storage and network vendors.  Looking into the future, Ethernet is the single network for convergence.  This ultimate convergence will take years to become a reality and in the meantime there are strong requirements for FC (large install base of trusted solutions for storage) and InfiniBand (ultra-low latency for applications that can translate microseconds into money or business value); QLogic serves all of these markets with products that are helping to provide commonality of parts and management.

Virtualization is a significant driver for changing the way people architect data centers.  Servers have higher utilization and with multiple workloads on a single machine, network bandwidth and component reliability is more important than ever.

New datacenter architectures will move to the higher speed architectures such as 8Gb FC and 10Gb Ethernet. In the past, the industry has wrestled with the challenge of which protocol is the best.  As seen in Chad Sakac’s virtualization survey, we’ll be seeing a mix of NFS, iSCSI, FC and FCoE in virtualization environments for a long time.  Now with solutions like the Virtual Connect FlexFabric module that QLogic releases with HP earlier this year, customers have the option of buying a single device that can do either FC or Ethernet and can change dynamically to the other protocol in the future as needed.

The full interview can be found here; toward the end,  John Furrier says that while there may be a lot of competition in the networking space these days, there are not many companies that want to do the “really hard work” of creating the drivers that will support the most mission critical applications in data centers (including cloud infrastructure) around the world.  QLogic delivers innovative solutions that can support virtualization and a broad spectrum of OEM and end-user requirements.


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  • Mmiracle

    To the point of bandwidth and higher component reliability, an all-in-one performance monitoring system is needed, covering networks, servers, VMs, call managers, storage and applications, no matter where they are. SevOne has down the hard work of creating a linearly scalablable, peer-to-peer platform architecture that flat out scales in large service provider environement. Collection and reporting capacity is added with each appliance, and we’ve scaled to millons of KPI monitored, and billions of baseline and threshold alerts calculations. Worth considering to replace the hodgepodge of legace systems, to get an end-to-end NOC capability.

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  • Virtualization does change almost everything. It severely impacts networking in many ways. Thank you for the post.