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Vol. 5 No. 8 October 2006

Virtual I/O aims to streamline network traffic

New servers usually mean Fibre Channel (FC) host bus adapters (HBAs) for SAN traffic and Ethernet cards for NAS traffic. But I/O virtualization, or virtual I/O, changes that assumption. "Virtual I/O allows servers to connect to a multitude of different targets irrespective of the protocol," says Patrick Guay, senior VP of marketing at Voltaire, a provider of virtual I/O routers in Billerica, MA. To accomplish this, the virtual I/O router performs a "network address translation [NAT]-like function," says Bill Erdman, director of marketing at Cisco Systems' Server Virtualization Business Unit. Cisco's SFS 3012 Multi-fabric Server Switch connects to servers using InfiniBand and then translates the InfiniBand protocol to the respective IP or FC storage protocol used by the storage array. Cisco finds that virtual I/O offers organizations the following benefits: It creates a pool of physical HBAs and network interface cards (NICs) that may be shared between servers. It eliminates the need to install and cable HBAs and NICs for each ...

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Features in this issue

  • Survey Says: Users name their 10GbE price

  • The right way to provision storage

    Provisioning storage is still mostly a manual job, but solid planning, including the right interested parties and some improved tools, can help ease the chore. Follow these provisioning best practices to gain greater performance and higher disk utilization.

  • Long-term archiving

    With some legislative requirements mandating data be kept for as long as 70 years, your organization needs an archiving plan that defines what data needs to be kept and why. But don't overlook how you'll restore old data when it needs to be accessed.

  • How to manage encryption keys

    Encryption is an effective way to secure data. But managing encryption keys can be a major undertaking. While there are no encompassing key management tools available yet, some apps can help you keep track of proliferating encryption keys.

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