Tech & Communications

Ethernet fabrics essential for virtualisation in business

by  — 14 May 2013

The growing popularity of ethernet fabric amongst IT managers in Qatar will help drive virtualisation in companies says Nimer Ghazal, the country manager for Brocade Communications.

Server virtualisation, an emerging trend in the market, is making data centre architects in Qatar rethink their current designs.

In today’s IT environment, more devices, a deluge of data, the decreasing costs to transfer data, and server virtualisation have triggered a transformation in the data centres which will no doubt lead to multiple data centre advancements during the next five years. Earlier exclusively deployed by large enterprises, it is now common in Qatar to see small and medium organisations with their own data centres. 

Last year, network managers in Qatar witnessed the growing popularity of ethernet fabrics. The trends that were the driving force behind this are set to remain valid though 2013 as well. According to IMS Research, 22 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2020 with an ability to create and consume data. Alongside these devices creating data, organisations are digitising and storing an incredible amount of raw data. IDC and EMC forecast that by 2020, the world will have 35 zetabytes of data on hand. Such an astronomical growth is possible because the cost of transferring data has decreased while the speed to transfer it has continued to increase.

Another driving trend, server virtualisation, has been brought about by the desire to control costs and increase utilisation. The increasing use of server virtualisation, which removes the hardware dependency, is causing data centre architects to rethink the current network designs.

“Consumers and organisations no longer respond to the concept of being shackled to specific vendor offerings.”

Mix this with one of the overriding trends for 2013, migrating to the cloud, and you can see why network architects are looking for ways to build more powerful, flatter networks that can support higher traffic loads. Flatter networks also reduce complexity, which lowers overhead costs and reduces risk.

Ethernet fabric allows external servers to link to data centre networks on a pay-per-port need, negating the need for customers to maintain a separate switch environment. Customers no longer have to maintain external switch environments and data centre operators are creating a less complex, reduced cost service in the cloud minus the redundant layers of management and manpower.

The growing popularity of ethernet fabric from a commercial perspective is that it also directly addresses the biting back on vendor lock-in. Ethernet fabric does not require a rip and replace of every part of an existing network. Consumers and organisations alike no longer respond to the concept of being shackled to specific vendor offerings. They are looking forward to the trusted vendors to deploy flexible and scalable solutions, even within multi-vendor environments. In the networking space, choice has become imperative and integrated offerings continue to break into the mainstream.

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