The desire to consolidate datacenter I/O has existed for several decades. It has been driven by I/O hardware providers who didn’t want to develop multiple versions of the same I/O card for different computer busses, and by end-users who did not want to stock multiple cards, as well as manage different fabrics with different tools. The problems that I/O consolidation needs to solve are:
To be effective, an I/O consolidation solution must transparently consolidate protocols in the rack, while at the same time virtualizing connections from the rack to the network, and consolidating traffic from servers to the network fabrics, as explained below.
Protocol Consolidation: This allows multiple server protocols to be carried on a single high-performance transport. Such a capability should:
When this capability is successfully implemented, it will eliminate the single point of failure problem caused by the reduction in server I/O slots, without requiring proprietary solutions.
Connection Virtualization: This concept allows network ports, addresses, etc. presented to the server to be logically separated from the actual network ports, addresses, etc that the network actually provides. This capability has several benefits:
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