8Gb/sec Fibre Channel widens lane for SAN traffic


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"The optical connector changed from SC to LC connectors when 2Gb/sec FC was released, so the correct cable is needed for connecting 1Gb SC to 8Gb LC," says Blandini.

Doug Ingraham, senior director of SAN product management at Brocade, says the firm is updating its FC switch management software as new 8Gb/sec FC director blades are released to improve support for virtual server environments. Brocade released a new 16-port 8Gb/sec director blade for its 48000 Director in October 2007 to aggregate a greater number of VMs on a single FC port. Brocade finds that oversubscription on 8Gb/sec FC ports can still occur in environments where VMware's VMotion is used.

VMotion can move VMs from one physical machine to another to perform transparent, nondisruptive server migrations. For the migrations to appear transparent to the application, there must be sufficient server and SAN capacity available on the target server. Brocade's Fabric OS analyzes the workloads of the source and target physical servers' FC ports. It then communicates these readings to VMotion so VMotion can make a determination about where to migrate the VM.

"If you initially choose to migrate from server A to server B, it might tell you that migrating to server C is a better idea," says Ingraham.

--Jerome M. Wendt

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This was first published in January 2008

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