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Optimizing Data Center Resources

Many organizations are looking to consolidate their IT infrastructure as a way to simplify management, increase resource utilization, reduce costs, and move towards fewer, larger internet data centers which will, eventually, reside in the cloud.

Data Center Evolution

Advances in infrastructure technologies

Data center networks are being pushed to their limits by a number of recent advances in infrastructure technologies. The escalating deployments of servers with multi-core processors, aggregation of applications on virtualized servers, convergence of data and storage infrastructures, along with demanding, high-traffic applications, such as database clusters, video-on-demand, and other mission-critical, high-throughput applications, are driving the need for high-bandwidth networking infrastructures and faster server I/O solutions based upon 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GbE).

10Gb Ethernet Adoption

Typical topology aggregated

Prior to the advent of 10GbE, the typical topology aggregated multiple 1GbE adapters within a physical server in an attempt to address these increasing demands. While aggregation works as a stop-gap solution, it doesn't scale to meet these escalating I/O requirements, exacerbates costs by increasing the hardware footprint (e.g., adapters, cabling, and switch ports), and introduces significant additional complexity in terms of configuration, tuning, and management.

Fabric Foundation

Unmatched features for virtualization, flexibility, and performance

Successful data center consolidation requires flexible, scalable server I/O and switching infrastructure solutions in terms of the technology and products that make up its fabric foundation. QLogic solutions for consolidation provide unmatched features for virtualization, flexibility and proven, reliable performance to meet the rigorous requirements of running mission-critical applications in virtualized and converged data and storage environments, all while simplifying configuration and management tasks and lowering costs.

QLogic Solution Features

Reduced capital, more VMs per server, and ensured QoS

  • Reduced capital and operational expenses
  • Support for more VMs per server
  • Configuration and policy consistency between physical and virtual environments
  • Ensured QoS for mission-critical applications
  • Extended product and topology useful life-spans

Host Connectivity Solutions

10Gb Ethernet, Fibre Channel, iSCSI, and converged networking

QLogic host connectivity offerings for 10Gb Ethernet, Fibre Channel, iSCSI, and converged networking connect host computers to data and storage networks, and include adapters for servers as well as mezzanine adapters for blade servers. Our solution includes device drivers and configuration software for a multitude of host operating systems. Features include industry-leading performance for applications and low CPU utilization, based upon technology innovations in areas such as Adaptive Power Management, CoolHBA™, superior hardware offload via FlexOffload®, ConvergeFlex® for simultaneous multi-protocol support, SecureFlex™ (IPSec offload) for in-flight data encryption, and VMflex™-powered optimizations for virtualization, including switch-agnostic NIC Partitioning (NPAR). Our latest adapter offerings add QLogic's revolutionary Flex Port technology for enabling any host, any storage, and any fabric connectivity within the data center. QLogic's Adaptive Convergence™ strategy continues to outpace and widen the gap from the nearest competitors.

QLogic also provides storage network infrastructure with a broad line of Fibre Channel switching solutions, including switching and virtual pass-through modules for blade servers, high port count modular chassis switches, and stackable edge switches featuring dedicated high-speed stacking ports as Inter-Switch Links (ISLs). QLogic stackable switches reduce upfront costs and future expenses, and decrease management costs and complexities, while enabling simplified future expansion without service interruptions. QLogic has also introduced a new category of converged switching products based upon our revolutionary Flex Port technology. Our latest stackable solution, the QLogic UA5900, leverages Flex Port to enable both state-of-the-art Fibre Channel switching and full-function FCoE Top of Rack (TOR) services on a single, high-density networking platform, which includes industry-leading port density and price per port value, and is based upon a proven ASIC design. This innovative solution furthers QLogic's Adaptive Convergence strategy by enabling Fabric Freedom, the ability to migrate to a converged infrastructure at your own pace.

NPARs Seamless Migration from Multiple 1Gb Ethernet Adapters

In the traditional data center server implementation, one advantage of using multiple 1GbE adapters is that their I/O resources may be dedicated specifically to individual applications, such as VM mobility, hypervisor management, or storage traffic, along with all the various applications running in the VMs that are being serviced.

NPAR physical and bandwidth

When consolidation is done using traditional 10GbE adapters, you may lose the visibility required to dedicate resources to the individual applications because generic 10GbE adapters do not have the ability to carve out resources and dedicate them to specific applications.

The QLogic VMflex architecture includes NIC Partitioning (NPAR), which enables a seamless migration from multiple 1Gb Ethernet Adapters to a consolidated 10Gb Ethernet infrastructure by exporting a number of independent virtual interfaces, each of which can dedicate a share of the adapter hardware resources to a specific VM. NPAR allows customers to flexibly provision bandwidth across four partitions per port, while being able to simultaneously run multiple protocol functions (NIC, FCoE, and iSCSI). NPAR helps consolidation efforts by enabling administrators to proportion the total 10Gb bandwidth across each partition in as small as 100MB increments with the ability to reallocate it and other resources as needed. Couple this with granular QoS and you create an environment that is prepared for maximum bandwidth utilization and dynamic bandwidth provisioning—perfect for bursting traffic, such as the migration of VMs. This eliminates the cost of installing multiple, physical networking and storage adapters that are dedicated to specific server applications or other tasks.