IBM System Networking Solutions
Optimize Workloads with IBM System Networking Load Balancing and Layer 2/7 Switches
In a computer network, load balancing is a technique to spread work between two or more computers, network links, CPUs, hard drives, or other resources, in order to get optimal resource utilization, maximize throughput and minimize response time. Using multiple components with load balancing, instead of a single component, may increase reliability through redundancy. The balancing service is usually provided by a dedicated program or hardware device (such as a multi layer load balancing switch). It is commonly used to mediate internal communications in computer clusters, especially high-availability clusters.
According to IDC's, Making the Business Case for Blade Servers with Embedded Layer 2/7 Switches (PDF, 261KB)
In the past decade, organizations have dramatically increased the number of network devices in their datacenters, adding critical functionality but complicating datacenter management. The Internet boom, in particular, fueled an explosion of single-function network appliances, creating a highly complex and inefficient datacenter topology that is difficult and expensive to manage and vulnerable to security threats. In today’s competitive business environment, CIOs are seeking to simplify their datacenter topology to cut costs and create a network infrastructure that is secure, easy to manage, always available, and capable of adjusting to unpredictable workloads and changing business needs.
In rearchitecting their infrastructure for greater efficiency and flexibility, many organizations are consolidating their rack-optimized, datacenter servers into a blade server chassis and then integrating the storage fabric and Layer 2 switches into the chassis. Blade servers were originally viewed as a means of conserving datacenter space and power, which were at a premium during the Internet boom. However, they are now valued more for their ability to increase availability and manageability and to lower acquisition and ownership costs. Integrating Layer 2 switches into the chassis further enhances the consolidation and manageability benefits of a blade server and provides the necessary backplane to support basic server workloads.
While this consolidation is an important first step, organizations can go further in simplifying their datacenter topology by integrating and embedding Layer 3-7 switching functionality within the blade server chassis. This LAN switch consolidation opens the door for tasks performed by function-specific appliances to be consolidated into the blade center chassis. In addition, adding switching intelligence to the blade server allows server capacity to be allocated dynamically to handle changing application loads.
IBM System Networking offers advanced load balancing capabilities in its switches.
Layer 2/7 load balancing capabilities within IBM switches provide:
10GbE Statistical flow balancing addresses the current market need for handling:
IBM iFlow Director software addresses the market need for: