Virtual I/O, I/O, it’s off to work we go

April 22, 2010 – You’ve virtualized a lot of your servers. You’re looking into virtualizing your desktops. It’s time to virtualize your I/O.

Faster processors, proliferating and dense VMs, and the need for speed and component consolidation are calling into question the traditional practice of loading up servers with more and more I/O cards, whether it’s Ethernet NICs, Fibre Channel HBAs, or other types of I/O adapters. There are a number of options.

If you’re an HP shop, you may be familiar with the Virtual Connect technology on HP’s c-Class BladeSystems.

If you’re an InfoStor reader, you’re certainly familiar with multi-protocol, FCoE-based converged network adapters (CNAs) from vendors such as Emulex and QLogic.

An emerging option is virtual I/O, which is often implemented on I/O virtualization switches or gateways (and could be complementary with FCoE CNAs). It’s a flexible way to dynamically configure servers and accommodate multiple I/O protocols while reducing your adapter, switch port, cabling, and power requirements.

If that sounds appealing, start your evaluation by checking out these early players in the virtual I/O space:

NextIO
VirtenSys
Xsigo

Early next week we’ll introduce a new entrant in this market – Aprius – in the News and Analysis section of infostor.com.

To get you started on virtual I/O, read “Virtual IO takes off in 2010,” by Wikibon.org analyst David Floyer.

Related articles from InfoStor:

Dell to resell Xsigo’s virtual I/O products
VirtenSys unveils VIO switches
I/O virtualization is a sweet spot for 10GbE

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posted by: Dave Simpson

Dave Simpson, Editor-in-Chief
by Dave Simpson
Editor-in-Chief

Dave Simpson has been the Editor-in-Chief of InfoStor since its inception in 1997. He previously held editorial positions at publications such as Datamation, Systems Integration, and Digital News and Review. He can be contacted at dsimpson@quinstreet.com

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