According to a recent study from Forrester Research, most North American data center operators believe that in the next 5 years there will be a convergence of the Storage Area Networks (SANs) and Local Area Networks (LANs). Although obstacles are coming down, there will be challenges along the way. Yet, as this white paper also points out these will be significant benefits to this transition.
For years, data traffic from servers to centralized storage has been carried on specialized FC networks, designed to provide maximum performance and availability characteristics. Conversely, application networking for user-to-server and server-to-server traffic has run on Ethernet links. Recent innovations in Ethernet networking present the possibility of network unification through the use of a single technology for both SAN and LAN.
There are several key benefits:
- Network hardware acquisition costs decrease due to the cost effectiveness of Ethernet.
- Convergence onto a common technology could also lower hardware costs.
- Ethernet is widely thought to offer simpler management than Fibre Channel
- Server-side network components and cabling can be reduced and simplified.
For more insight from your peers on the challenges of a converged network and a deeper discussion of the benefits click here to download this research report, sponsored by Cisco Systems.