IO virtualization: Strategies and approaches to virtual IO technology

To help you gain a better understanding of virtual IO and consolidating your networks, we've compiled our top tips and articles on IO virtualization.

IO virtualization aims to reduce the physical infrastructure by abstracting some of the network components that

link servers to storage so that they can be shared more easily and effectively. While there are many benefits to IO virtualization, deciding on the right approach requires some study. There are different types of products that handle IO virtualization, industry standards haven’t taken hold, and there are other ways to accomplish networking equipment consolidation, such as Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE).

To help you gain a better understanding of virtual IO and the best ways to consolidate your networking hardware at the server level, we've compiled our top tips and articles on IO virtualization strategies. First, read about the basic approaches and implementations of IO virtualization. Second, learn how you can optimize your data center operations with IO virtualization. And last, view a slide presentation on virtual networks for storage environments.

IO virtualization: Approaches and implementations

IO virtualization can help with the problem of IO bottlenecks, but there are a few basics ways to implement it: via software virtualization of the entire IO process and by extending a server’s internal PCIe pathway to a “card cage” that houses multiple IO cards. This tutorial looks at various IO virtualization products, explains the PCIe bus extender approach and examines how IO virtualization differs from FCoE. Read the full IO virtualization tutorial.

IO virtualization: How to optimize your data center operations

IO virtualization can help optimize data center operations by adding an abstraction layer between the servers that access interface cards and the cards themselves. So with the help of IO virtualization, many users hope to better utilize their bandwidth as more servers access each network interface card (NIC). This tip will help you initiate IO virtualization with a list of IO virtualization products, information on how to share cards in an IO virtualization system and how to connect NICs to servers, and an explanation of how to determine which servers to include in your IO virtualization system. Read the full tip on using an IO virtualization system to optimize your data center operations.

Virtual networks for storage and data environments

IT organizations have discovered that, while their data centers nowadays have tremendous amounts of processing power, the backs of server racks look like spaghetti factories, with all the cabling required to support all that processing power. This slide presentation by Howard Marks, founder and chief scientist at DeepStorage.net, explains how to address that problem with virtual networks and virtual IO and how administrators can consolidate their environments. View the entire presentation on virtual networks for storage and data environments.

This was first published in April 2011

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