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IT departments are consolidating servers and implementing virtualization to simplify their environments and lower the total cost of ownership. Some organizations are achieving consolidation ratios of as high as 100:1, and 20:1 consolidation is commonplace, using VMware and multi-core server technology. But success in reducing the number of servers, and the concomitant reduction in management and environmental costs, has a price: each reduction in physical server presence also subtracts a number of NIC ports. A proliferation of virtual machines on a single server competes for that server's resources, often resulting in I/O bottlenecks.
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