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Best practices for I/O connectivity in today's data centers configure each server with redundant connections to each of two networks: two or more Ethernet network interfaces connect to IP networks, and two or more Fibre Channel Interfaces connect to storage networks. This approach has created a proliferation of cabling that imposes significant costs. Each network requires a dedicated set of switches, interfaces, transceivers, cabling, and the ongoing expense of managing, servicing, powering, and cooling the equipment needed to support them. There are hidden costs as well. To have sufficient expansion slot capacity to support all these interfaces, IT departments often must upgrade to larger, more expensive servers solely for their I/O capacity, expending capital and consuming valuable data center rack space.
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