As practitioners transition from 1Gb Ethernet to 10Gb Ethernet it’s not just about moving to a higher bandwidth, but about taking the opportunity to re-examine the architect the entire network. Specifically, older switch architectures are over-subscribed and underutilized, using Spanning Tree. New switch architectures can support full line rate, non-blocking configurations.
At the same time, practitioners must understand the entire data center in balance from servers, storage, networks and applications. The job of the network is to enable business capabilities and not become a constraint or a prohibitively expensive line item in the budget.
Action Item: Practitioners must exploit changes in technology, not just in networks but associated developments in server and storage domains. These include virtualization trends in servers and storage, which include scale-out architectures that allow for mobile placement of applications. These trends drive the need for higher data rates to deliver the required performance and service levels. The required architecture will include much higher access densities that efficiently utilize the ports and bandwidth of the network by replacing Spanning Tree Protocol with solutions such as VSS, vPC and FabricPath from Cisco Systems. Storage replication and server mobility such as VMotion creates large amounts of data that flows over the network. From a network perspective this means you need to have sufficient bandwidth and agility to support these applications.