Data center operators continually seek the advantages of converged switching fabrics that span data, storage and cluster networking using Ethernet. Consolidating to an Ethernet fabric greatly reduces the amount of equipment required in the data center and drastically lowers both power consumption, acquisition costs and the overall cost of administration.
IP Storage - NAS, ISCSI and FCoE: IP storage solutions such as NAS, iSCSI, and FCoE, can all benefit from the high-bandwidth, low-latency, and scalability of 10/40 Gigabit Ethernet switching -- or a basic system interconnect for existing infrastructures.
Converged Enhanced Ethernet (CEE) and Data Center Bridging Exchange (DCBX): For prioritized traffic such as FCoE, iSCSI and NAS that requires and/or benefits from “lossless” Ethernet, to eliminate packet loss due to queue overflow and allocate bandwidth across specific links. Data Center Bridging enables different priorities of data and storage traffic to use the same links.
Network Attached Storage Implementations: IP-based external disk storage system that attaches (interconnects) to a LAN (NFS, CIFS). Example environments: Office file sharing; Digitizing data – medical & finance imaging, video surveillance, archives; HPC; or Video post-production. IBM System Networking 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches provide ideal connectivity to IBM NAS storage offerings like IBM Storwize V7000 Unified, IBM System Storage N Series, IBM Real-time Compression or SONAS.
iSCSI Implementations: One of the biggest growth areas of storage over the past couple years is iSCSI with the capabilities of 10Gb Ethernet for transferring block-level storage over TCP/IP. Example environments: Exchange Servers, PXE boot, VM shared storage and large database. IBM System Networking 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet switches provide ideal connectivity to IBM Storage offerings like IBM Storwize V3700/V7000 and IBM System Storage DS offerings.
FCoE Implementations: Fiber Channel over Ethernet is quickly getting attention for those clients looking for more cost effective alternatives to their existing Fibre Channel Storage. IBM System Networking provides two types of offerings for FCoE: 1) Transit devices which support FCoE traffic in and FCoE traffic out (Example: SI4093, EN4093R, G8124, G8264, BladeCenter Virtual Fabric 10 Gigabit) or 2) Fibre Channel Forwarder which allows for FC break out connectivity using Omni Ports (Example: CN4093 or G8264CS).
RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE): Ethernet is now being utilized for low latency server to server inter-process communications in High Performance Computing (HPC) clusters, Database applications, and ISER storage applications. The advantage of RoCE is that it avoids need for TCP, leveraging Converged Ethernet to provide lossless operation. Removing the TCP overhead allows for lower latency, lower CPU load on the servers, and higher throughput.