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Increasing Resource Utilization, Availability, and Agility

Most organizations are accelerating server virtualization projects and plan on using the adoption of virtualization as a foundational technology to launch their Cloud Computing initiatives. Server virtualization offers many benefits, but it also presents new challenges to the enterprise.

Virtualizing the Data Center

Increased resource utilization, reduced costs, and greater flexibility

Virtualization is one of the most important data center technologies to evolve in several years. Its benefits are easily realized in its deployment on servers, storage, and I/O interconnects. Overall, data center management is simplified, from servicing new requests for server resources to server provisioning tasks, as a result of fewer physical servers. Virtualization accelerates application deployment and can dynamically scale compute resources to meet increasing application requirements. Virtualization lowers operating expenses (OPEX) as it reduces the hardware footprint of servers and other related hardware, which drives down requirements for power, space, and cooling. Virtualization also enables high availability and disaster recovery solutions through the relative hardware independence of virtual machines. Virtualization increases resource utilization, lowers costs, increases flexibility, and provides the ability for IT to respond to an elastic demand for resources as IT transitions to a highly effective, service-oriented operation.

Virtualization – Decoupling Software from Hardware

Specific solution for complicated server virtualization issues

QLogic virtualization solutions specifically address one of the more complicated issues of server virtualization—the decoupling of the physical mapping between hardware and software. This decoupling has great benefits, as it allows much higher utilization of available resources, increases flexibility, and enables mobility, meaning that each virtual machine can dynamically move from one physical server to another either within a data center or across data centers. It also results in significantly more complex configuration requirements, including enabling per application-based access control, bandwidth provisioning, VLAN mapping, and other typical network policy management tasks.

Enabling Per-VM Visibility

Virtualization-aware capabilities

To address this, QLogic has introduced its FlexSuite Adapter and Flex Port-based switching products featuring new, virtualization-aware capabilities that provide network and storage administrators the per-VM visibility needed to address the network complexity issues created by server virtualization. Integrating QLogic products into your hypervisor-based server deployment will empower your organization to take full advantage of the vision and benefits of a virtualized data center.

Extending Virtualization End-to-End

Highly available, adaptive compute environments

The most successful deployments of virtualization seamlessly integrate server virtualization with networking and storage components (whether physical or virtual), extending virtualization from end-to-end. Realizing the full benefits of these improved IT capabilities is based on the creation of a highly available, adaptive compute environment with the capability of scaling to support the elastic demands placed on IT resources. The successful implementation of virtualization can be considered an important step in an organization's journey toward cloud computing.

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
  • QLogic host connectivity solutions

Host Connectivity Solutions

Virtualization-aware features

QLogic offers a wide variety of solutions for connecting hosts and arrays to data and storage networks utilizing 10GbE, Fibre Channel, and iSCSI, along with 10GbE/FCoE/iSCSI converged networking. The company's product's include adapters for servers as well as mezzanine adapters for blade servers. Our solutions include device drivers and configuration software for a multitude of host operating systems. QLogic's technology provides industry-leading performance for applications and low CPU utilization. A few of our technology innovations include Adaptive Power Management, Cool HBA™, 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). Additional virtualization-aware features supported by our products are Node Port ID Virtualization (NPIV) functionality, PCIe® Gen3 compliance, and SR-IOV support. 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 out-pace and widen the gap from the nearest competitors.

QLogic Fibre Channel and Converged TOR Switching Solutions

Broad line for storage network infrastructure

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). Stackable edge switches lower 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.

Foundation for Cloud-Enabled Data Center

QLogic virtualization-aware infrastructure products

Leveraging QLogic virtualization-aware infrastructure products ensures an optimized infrastructure along with enterprise-class LAN and SAN connectivity for meeting today’s server needs and establishing the right foundation for tomorrow’s cloud-enabled data center.

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.