NIC partitioning essential when dealing with virtual infrastructure

Partitioning network interface cards can make it easier to deal with virtual server infrastructure.

By Max Burkhalter
January 24, 2012
When businesses virtualize their server infrastructure, data input/output rises substantially, creating a circumstance in which organizations need to adapt their network infrastructure to new conditions. According to a recent Network World report, organizations can address the challenges presented by virtual architectures by partitioning network interface cards.

According to the news source, partitioned NICs are able to support higher performance input/output rates and handle the bandwidth requirements presented by virtual infrastructure. The increased data throughput created by partitioned network interface cards allows businesses to further their hardware consolidation efforts, creating more environmentally-efficient data center environments.

The report explained that virtualization is a rapidly-growing trend because many data center operators are pushing for more sustainable practices within their facilities. By virtualizing servers, businesses can manage fewer physical devices while handling even more actual servers in the form of virtual machines. The ensuing reduction in physical servers leads to lower power use and an easier cooling environment to deal with.

All of this is possible, the news source said, because of multi-core processors and other hardware advances that make it easier for the actual servers to handle larger quantities of data. However, the network has not seen the same upgrades, for the most part, making changes essential. This is where partitioning NICs comes into play. The partitions can be used to divide ports into virtual ports. This is key, since there should be a single port for each server, or at least close to that, and virtual environments without virtual ports can be difficult to manage.

Besides making it easier to deal with virtualization, the report said partitioning NICs will also simplify future investments in the data center. As ports are divided into multiple virtual appliances, operators can reduce the number of ports they need to purchase. This is instrumental in reducing the cost burden associated with making major network upgrades.

Virtual infrastructure is leading to many investments in new networking systems. As businesses use virtualization as a springboard to the cloud, the amount of data flowing out to end users is growing fast. At the same time, more information is also being sent between servers. In response, a growing number of organizations are flattening their Ethernet infrastructure to establish a less complex, more flexible network architecture.

Perle’s wide range of 1 to 48 port Perle Console Servers provide data center managers and network administrators with secure remote management of any device with a serial console port. Plus, they are the only truly fault tolerant Console Servers on the market with the advanced security functionality needed to easily perform secure remote data center management and out-of-band management of IT assets from anywhere in the world.


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