Converged Networks, FCoE Facilitate Cloud Computing
The concept of converged networking continues to gain steam as companies like EMC build product strategies around Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) and 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE). According to this article from sister site Enterprise IT Planet, EMC believes 10GbE converged networks will serve as the glue that will hold together private clouds.
This latest wave of convergence, then, is a major facilitator of the cloud. Look at it as yet another form of virtualization taking away another physical barrier - this time between storage and networking. Instead of separate Ethernet and storage networking, things are going to be channeled across one set of pipes. By doing so, cloud computing becomes all the more possible and attractive, as it is one less set of protocols to worry about.
EMC's new converged network strategy indicates that the company fully understands that its clients and the broader market are moving toward 10GbE solutions and is fully prepared to support clients' transitions to converged 10GbE networks within the data center," said [Charles King, an analyst at Pund-IT]. "Its expanded 10GbE service offerings and enhanced tool suite are evidence of this, as is its plans to test and qualify Cisco and Brocade's 10GbE switch solutions.
He's talking about a series services and tools for converged environments including network assessment, planning, design and implementation, as well as offering 10 GbE switch products from Brocade and Cisco, which will be tested by EMC E-Lab. These will support a range of protocols that includes Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), Converged Enhanced Ethernet (CEE), iSCSI and NAS, as well as Cisco's Nexus Family of 10 GbE switch products that support FCoE/CEE.
"EMC plans to introduce new network assessment services to assist with deploying and supporting advanced network-based technologies," said Deirdre Wassell, director of storage product marketing at EMC. "This includes assessments for customers interested in leveraging VMware VMotion over extended distances as well as customers who are planning for cloud federation. These assessments will help customers determine if their network is reliable and responsive enough to support these use cases."
So what will 10GbE mean for storage and networking professionals? Will there be less need for storage and networking specialists? Wassell doesn't think it is the end of the line for the storage specialist at least not yet.
"Some customers are keeping their storage and networking teams separate, while others are cross training and consolidating groups," she said.
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