Eye on Blades Blog: Trends in Infrastructure
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Innovate and transform your converged data center network

 

In order to address increased business demands (e.g. more virtualization), new initiatives (e.g., cloud) and new applications, IT administrators must take a fresh look at existing data center infrastructure performance and functionality. Are you planning for what’s going to be needed for you to stay on top of business needs for years to come?

 

In my last blog, I discussed traditional infrastructures and networks being a constraint to improved (and perceived) operational performance. While the network can be perceived as flexible and agile to new demands or occasional spikes in traffic, performance is not always scalable under extreme traffic loading on a consistent basis. It’s also important to consider how efficiently network bandwidth is utilized.

 

Another challenge for administrators is to be able to add more ports for dedicated network connections to servers and storage arrays on demand. Each connection can take up valuable ports on a blade network switch, particularly with storage arrays with multiple types of physical interfaces, including Fibre Channel, iSCSI, Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), etc. In many cases, consolidating Ethernet and HBA adapters with a converged NIC has helped reduce redundant adapters.

 

Blade-based data centers address many of these network challenges. HP BladeSystem and Virtual Connect already provide the simplest way to connect servers to any network with a proven wire-once, change-ready architecture that improves IT agility and accelerates operations. Thousands of deployments have been built upon Virtual Connect and leveraging Flex-10 innovation to enable adapter consolidation and efficient bandwidth utilization, further reducing component requirements and hardware costs.

 

Today, HP delivers the newest generation of HP Virtual Connect FlexFabric solutions with feature-rich innovation that brings agility back to the business while simplifying the network, helping transform the way business operates.

 

The HP Virtual Connect FlexFabric-20/40 F8 module is the simplest, most flexible way to connect virtualized server blades to data and storage networks. Based on open industry standard 40GbE uplinks and HP’s unique 20GbE downlinkcapabilities delivered via Flex-20 technology, the HP VC FlexFabric-20/40 F8 Module is a high performance solution for addressing your growing bandwidth requirements for any virtualized or cloud environment.

 

As part of this announcement, two new HP FlexFabric adapters also deliver performance and efficiency enhancements for HP BladeSystem. The HP FlexFabric 20Gb 2-port 630FLB and 630M Adapters for HP ProLiant Gen8 Blades servers implement Flex-20 technology to stream twice the bandwidth of 10 Gb adapters for virtualized and converged data centers. These new HP FlexFabric Adapters increase Virtual Machine migration and workload performance while converging Ethernet and Fibre Channel functionality into a single adapter. Available in mezzanine (630M) and FlexibleLOM (630FLB) options, the adapters give administrators more choice for their data center and blade servers. The three products and enhancements are supported by HP Virtual Connect v4.20 firmware.

VC_FlexFabric20_40_F8Module_Adapters_snip.png

 

The HP VC FlexFabric-20/40 F8 Module is the first HP Virtual Connect module with four 40Gb LAN uplinks delivering 4x the performance over traditional 10Gb per port connectivity and with the added flexibility to split each port into 4x10GbE ports for seamlessly connectivity to existing infrastructure. Furthermore, the HP VC FlexFabric-20/40 F8 Module supports various QSFP+ port options including 40GbE Transceivers, DAC cables and newly introduced AOC (Active Optical Cables).

 

The module now features eight Flexports, twice as many ports as existing HP Virtual Connect FlexFabric 10Gb/24-Port modules, improving scalability to SANs. Also supported is the direct attach Flat SAN solution, which allows you to directly connect BladeSystem enclosures to HP 3PAR arrays without the need for an intermediate SAN Fabric. Not only does this reduce the cost to interface directly to storage, it also speeds up traffic from servers to the arrays by eliminating SAN hops and reducing latency.

 

As mentioned before, Virtual Connect modules and adapters already implement Flex-10 technology for efficient operation and bandwidth utilization. Now, the HP Virtual Connect FlexFabric-20/40 F8 module and HP FlexFabric adapters extend HPs’ pioneering Flex-10 capabilities to 20 G using 20Gb KR2 standards. This is an industry first. With each port delivering native 20Gb bandwidth (rather than combined or teamed 10Gb ports), the new products help customers efficiently provision port bandwidth and future-proof network investments with capacity to meet new workload requirements and bursty traffic. Flex-20 technology is the industry’s first solution to deliver simultaneous converged streams 10GbE and 8Gb for storage over a single 20Gb port, enabling servers to drive more workload traffic across the infrastructure. Lastly, each 20Gb adapter reduces the requirement for two 10Gb adapters. With fewer adapters to manage and individually configure, each 20Gb adapter is more efficient to operate than two or more teamed 10Gb ports.

 

The HP Virtual Connect FlexFabric-20/40 F8 module and HP FlexFabric 20Gb 630 Series adapters push the edge of innovation with Flex-20 technology, giving data centers the performance and efficiency needed to innovate and transform the business.

 

Are you ready to transform the way you run your data center network I/O?

 

Learn more about the HP Virtual Connect FlexFabric-20/40 F8 Module by visiting the HP Virtual Connect page, and discover the HP FlexFabric 630-Series adapters here.
 

You can preview some of the solutions here and discuss further with us, we invite you to come and join us at HP Discover 2014 on June 10-12 in Las Vegas, NV. Now is the perfect time to register for the event and take advantage of great hands-on experience with convergence solutions delivered by HP. Want to see everything that is available to you? Check out the HP Discover Session Catalog today and gain the most out of your experience.  

 

 

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About the Author
20 years of marketing experience in semiconductors, networking and servers. Focused on HP BladeSystem networking supporting Virtual Connect,...


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