Unified Comms

Network Convergence in the Data Center Makes Sense

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Executive Summary

This paper is an attempt to demonstrate that network convergence in data centers is the way to go for organizations instead of maintaining two separate networks, as is the prevalent practice. Convergence is not new for mainframe shops. They have been spending lot of money in consolidating data centers, servers, and storage and have also benefited from the Enterprise System Connectivity (ESCON) to Fiber Connectivity (FICON) convergence in the past. The ESCON to FICON convergence had not only made management easy but had also made cross-pollination of skills and resources between open systems and mainframes possible. This also went on to add to the purchasing power of the organizations through reduced maintenance and spare part costs. Having benefited from the ESCON to FICON convergence, it is now time for organizations to converge network in the data center from Fiber Channel (FC) to an Ethernet network. This convergence will take time but the existing technology makes it possible for organizations to go for it right away. The long process of convergence will mean that both FC and Ethernet will co-exist for many years to come. This convergence will go a long way in enhancing the performance of an organization's network. It will add to the data transmission speed, taking it to as high as 100Gbps. Changes to the Ethernet protocol through Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) will also ensure that management is simple and less complex, along with being cost effective.

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