10GbE and Software-Defined Infrastructure

Time has turned the standard practices of yesteryear on it’s head mostly due to virtualization and cloud computing. The jump from storage area networks (SAN) to converged infrastructure was a slow one mostly due to fact that fibre channel (FC) was reliable, had greater bandwidth and also cost effective compared to other competing and potentially proprietary solutions. That was until 10GbE entered the market. Once 10GbE and its surroundings got up to speed with PCI Express x8, Jumbo Frames, TCP offload, new processors, etc the promise of converged LAN and SAN was in reach. Just look at how fast we went from Converged infrastructure to Hyper-Converged infrastructure then to being called Web-scale. Once hardware limits on bandwidth and I/O were greatly reduced it didn’t take long for software to take advantage. And when I say software I’m talking about infrastructure, the hypervisor, storage, and networking. Put another way software-defined infrastructure (SDI) which then brings us the software-defined data center (SDDC), a key part of SDI. Shame on me for not mentioning security because it’s included into the big SDDC picture as well, or at least it should.

How is software-defined or 10GbE changing your enterprise? You may see it in the way of new storage architectures. Or maybe it’s on the network side of things. SDI is nothing new but has 10GbE and software-defined infrastructure penetrated your enterprise yet and if so, how?