It’s time for a little housekeeping on the data center floor.

What’s Unified Fabric Networking technologies?

 As the number of data, applications and servers in data centers have increased, so have corresponding storage and networks. Couple this with an increasing appetite for Virtualization and networking seems to have been a bit forgotten.  As organizations look to condense platforms and applications the demand on networking and storage connectivity continues to increase.  Most organizations have separate fabrics, and redundant networking switches, for their IP data and SAN connectivity.  This adds additional complexity and equipment in the environment that has to be managed, monitored and controlled.

 The place has gotten crowded to put it mildly and it’s reduced the flexibility of organizations to adapt to changing business needs – like getting onboard the cloud.

 One answer to this housekeeping challenge has been a new standard called Data Center Bridging (DCBx), which collapses IP and Storage networks (regardless or protocol) down to a single common network infrastructure and unifies all these disparate networking fabrics – eliminating a lot of switches, cables and more.

 This converged infrastructure – or Unified Fabric Networking as it’s often called – is really about unifying the fabrics of connectivity on the data center floor so that as much as possible works through one single wire. Now you’re able to provision any connectivity you want across that wire. No longer do you have to bring down a machine and recable or bring in more switches. It can all be done elastically and dynamically.

 With Unified Fabric Networking technologies, data centers are seeing:

 Efficiency. By eliminating a greater amount of infrastructure redundancy across the network rather than just at the access layer, it can drive a greater ROI. Data centers see 80% less cable, 8 times better performance and 20% of the infrastructure of traditional environments – not to mention simplified administration and maintenance.

 Agility. It provides the ability to set up, move, and change both physical and virtual servers faster to more easily respond to changing business needs. The approach is designed to provide the ability to adjust based on capacity needs – regardless of protocol.

 IT transformation. By providing a simpler, more homogeneous infrastructure to manage, enabling data center consolidation, and supporting a capacity demand model, Unified Fabric Networking technologies can help IT organizations do more with less.

 In fact, a recent IDC study analyzing the experience of six companies that have undergone real-world implementations of this type of network convergence housekeeping estimated that these businesses were able to achieve up to a 492% ROI by fully converging their network at both the access layer and the storage layer.

 And after all, isn’t that the kind of bottom line benefit every organization wants?

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About Matthew Bynum

With over 10 years of professional IT experience working in all facets of the technology industry, Matthew has amassed a broad portfolio of technology, enterprise architecture, business and IT management expertise. He also has a solid and proven understanding of the technological and architectural foundational components that are necessary to support the business systems of a company. Matthew has worked for and provided consulting services to more than 100 North American and international companies that operate within a broad array of industry verticals. Matthew has been working on Cisco networking solutions for 10 years, and holds CCIE #21753.