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Ethernet Fabric (VDX, CNA)

Retired-Super Contributor
Posts: 260
Registered: ‎05-12-2010

Flat is "Phat" and why Chris Columbus Was Wrong

Chris was right when it came to geography, but dead wrong when it comes to data center networks.  Flat is Phat and where its at.

Okay, what's cool about being flat.  For those who can remember Twiggy in the 1960's, flat became cool and started a major fashion fad which launched her acting career. That was then, but now, Zeus Kerravala at the Yankee Group makes the case for why Flat is Phat for networks in his post, "In the Data Center Flat is Phat: Brocade Stitches Together Its Fabric Strategy"

It's the growth of "east-west" traffic that makes flat beautiful for Ethernet.  So, "Why is east- west traffic growing" you ask?  Ah, "It's the application stupid". 

There has been a revolution in application stacks driven by two factors, server virtualization for the legacy client/server stack and Web 2.0 for the new web application stack. What's the common denominator?  Both rely on scale-out using server clustering instead of scale-up using symmetric multi-processing.

Server clusters require low latency, guaranteed delivery, and in the case of server virtualization, scalable bandwidth, and flat Ethernet networks provide that.  How do you build a flat network?  Simple.  Use an Ethernet fabric built with Brocade's VCS technology.

If you are building data centers to host server virtualization (who isn't???) and/or hosting Web 2.0 applications (can you say CLOUD?), then you will be relying on server clustering to scale-out your resource pools.  And, your network has to delivery low latency, scalable bandwidth for east-west traffic, which is the predominate traffic flow for scale-out clustering.

This is why Ethernet fabrics based on Brocade VCS technology make sense to Zeus, and why Flat is Phat for data center networks when building virtual data centers to deliver cloud computing services that power all the cool Web 2.0 applications.

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