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Until recently, data center networks were designed under the safe assumption that each end node was connected to the access port of an end-of-row switch in the network and it corresponded to one server running a single image: that is, a single instance of an OS and a single instance of a given application. Another safe assumption was that the application and its associated OS would be persistently bound to that specific physical server and would rarely, if ever, move onto another physical server. In recent years, introduction of bladed server architectures and subsequently of server virtualization has invalidated these assumptions and has posed some new challenges for design of data center networks. As discussed in this paper, the Cisco VN-Link technology addresses these challenges.
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