Eye on Blades Blog: Trends in Infrastructure
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Rethinking networks for virtual servers

The earth is flat.  Men can't fly.  Chewing gum takes 7 years to travel the digestive track. 

The point of these, and many other bad examples of 'conventional wisdom' is that far too often we accept what seems to be reasonable advice or thinking. Usually because:

1. We've heard it our whole lives
2. Everyone else thinks the same thing or does it the same way
3. It kind of makes sense

If there's one thing our blade engineers are great at, it's challenging conventional wisdom.  Their latest challenge: why do server to network connections have to be one-to-one and why is the speed of each connection fixed?  They said, "Today's network model costs too much, burns too much power and is completely inflexible."

For example, if you want to add a network port on a blade server, you need a NIC, a switch and a cable.  Want 8 network ports per server?  Multiply by 8.  If the network is 1 or 10Gb/s, guess what?  All your connections are 1 or 10Gb/s too!  Nothing in between.  For a variety of reasons, Cisco and others have perpetuated this process for years. 

Enter the age of the virtual server. 

The requirements of virtual servers have already had a dramatic impact on the fundmentals of servers and storage design.  More cores, more memory, more capacity.  But one area untouched until now has been the network layer.  Sure, VMware has 'virtual NICs' and 'virtual switches', but it's done via software and doesn't do anything to address the underlying issues: you still need a lot of physical NICs, switches, and more bandwidth. 

Here's what our team came up with, divide the total capacity of one 10Gb pipe into 4 server ports, then add the ability to fine-tune the bandwidth of each port, so you can give more or less performance to different virtual machines.  The end result is 66% less cost in network equipment from a 4 to 1 consolidation of switches, 65% less power used and great performance from 10Gb speeds built-in.

Take this guided tour and see how Virtual Connect Flex-10 is the next big shake up of conventional wisdom in the network world. 

Today, the virtualization discussion is about virtual servers and storage.  In 2009, virtual I/O and virtual networks are the new frontiers for huge innovation and as a result; another round of consolidation and cost savings in the data center.

Take a Guided Tour of the HP POD

Stacey Higginbotham with Giga Omni Media was in our neck of the woods last week to take a guided tour of the HP Performance Optimized Datacenter (POD) with Wade Vinson.  If there's one thing you take away, it's just how much passion we have for what we do around here.

Take a look at the full article and some of the latest pics.

I remember back in 2006 when Wade was just the lowly "Fan Man" behind the Active Cool fans in our BladeSystem.  Now it seems I have to show more respect to the "PODFather".


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About the Author(s)
  • More than 25 years in the IT industry developing and managing marketing programs. Focused in emerging technologies like Virtualization, cloud and big data.
  • I am a member of the Enterprise Group Global Marketing team blogging on topics of interest for HP Servers. Check out blog posts on all four Server blog sites-Reality Check, The Eye on Blades, Mission Critical Computing and Hyperscale Computing- for exciting news on the future of compute.
  • I work within EMEA HP Servers Central Team as a launch manager for new products and general communications manager for EMEA HP Server specific information. I also tweet @ServerSavvyElla
  • HP Servers, Converged Infrastructure, Converged Systems and ExpertOne
  • WW responsibility for development of ROI and TCO tools for the entire ISS portfolio. Technical expertise with a financial spin to help IT show the business value of their projects.
  • I am a member of the HP BladeSystem Portfolio Marketing team, so my posts will focus on all things blades and blade infrastructure. Enjoy!
  • Luke Oda is a member of the HP's BCS Marketing team. With a primary focus on marketing programs that support HP's BCS portfolio. His interests include all things mission-critical and the continuing innovation that HP demonstrates across the globe.
  • Global Marketing Manager with 15 years experience in the high-tech industry.
  • 20 years of marketing experience in semiconductors, networking and servers. Focused on HP BladeSystem networking supporting Virtual Connect, interconnects and network adapters.
  • Working with HP BladeSystem.
  • Greetings! I am on the HP Enterprise Group marketing team. Topics I am interested in include Converged Infrastructure, Converged Systems and Management, and HP BladeSystem.
The opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the authors, not of HP. By using this site, you accept the Terms of Use and Rules of Participation.