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With the emergence of new technologies such as Virtual Protocol Interconnect (VPI) for the modern data center, the separation between commodity networking technology and high-performance interconnects is shrinking. With VPI, a single network adapter on a data center server can easily be configured to use one port to interface with Ethernet traffic and another port to interface with high-bandwidth, low-latency InfiniBand technology. In this paper, the authors evaluate ConnectX VPI using micro-benchmarks as well as real traces from a three-tier data center architecture. They find that with VPI each network segment in the data center can use the most optimal configuration (whether InfiniBand or Ethernet) without having to fall back to the lowest common denominator, as is currently the case.
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