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July 1, 2012

Building a 10 GigE storage network

10 Gbps Ethernet is here, with plenty of products available, so it’s only a matter of time before most data storage shops decide to step up from 1 GigE to 10 GigE. Many data centers still use Gigabit Ethernet (1 Gbps) -- or 1 GigE -- to handle normal local-area network (LAN) traffic between laptop computers, desktop computers, file servers and application servers. But many application and file servers currently use multiple 1 GigE network interface cards (NICs) because they need more total bandwidth. It’s not uncommon to see four, six or eight 1 GigE ports in these servers. Some of the ports are used for management functions, while others are dedicated to network traffic flow, including some file or block storage traffic. Certainly, with the increasing adoption of virtualization, we find that more network bandwidth is needed. The solution has actually been lurking deep inside the data center for a few years: 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GigE). This technology, as its name implies, is 10 times faster than Gigabit Ethernet, and was ...

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