The virtualization trend is clear and consistent, rooted in demands for cost and performance efficiencies, business agility, and IT department productivity that cannot be ignored. However, to take full advantage of a virtualized environment, certain factors must be considered in terms of user connectivity, resource allocation, and maximizing infrastructure investment. By effectively planning and deploying 40G/100G Ethernet (GbE), businesses can remove potential barriers to fully realize the benefits of a virtualized environment.

40G/100GbE is the key to increasing capacity and, if planned properly, can provide a smooth upgrade path as it will become the dominant standard in the near future. As one of the key foundations on which to build the next generation of virtualized data center and campus environments, 40G/100GbE is already on the fast track. This article will describe the 40G/100GbE architecture for virtualized data centers and campuses. IT managers are increasingly recognizing the significant benefits of 40G/100GbE and seeing great potential as an interconnect solution for data centers and campus commercial buildings.

On an economic level, the barriers to entry in the 40G/100GbE market continue to decrease. When upgrading to a 40G/100GbE network in the future, the current capital investment in a 10GbE network can be effectively protected. The Ethernet switching and fiber cabling examples in this article show that 55% of the switching equipment can be protected; 57% of the fiber cabling investment can be preserved.

In terms of availability, more and more vendors are starting to offer solutions for the 40G/100GbE ecosystem. On the one hand, the participation of multiple suppliers has increased the market supply of 40G/100G products, such as 40G optical modules, 100G optical modules, and switch products. On the other hand, the widespread availability of the market reduces deployment costs, and these factors make 40G/100GbE infrastructure a reliable and sensible investment, now and in the future.

The increasing appeal of 40G/100GbE has made it the best choice and the standard for a new generation of high-bandwidth virtualized applications. Its superior performance and economic advantages in virtualized environments have further accelerated its popularity.

Virtualized Data Center

True data center virtualization is end-to-end virtualization, including server virtualization, storage virtualization, and network virtualization, which can bring a variety of benefits. Virtual machines and virtual networks are quick to deploy, and their energy efficiency and capacity can be dynamically adjusted to the needs of various workloads without wasting resources. Disaster recovery is faster with lower initial and ongoing costs than traditional non-virtualized models.

On the journey to virtualized data centers and the cloud, data center managers face numerous design and operational challenges. One of the most significant challenges in network design is providing sufficient bandwidth for current and foreseeable future applications. With converged network technology, it is becoming a fact that servers are connected to the network, and choosing 10GbE may also be a good choice for storage access networks. With 10GbE at the access layer, 40G/100GbE is recommended for deployment at the aggregation and core layers of the data center, where 40G/100GbE can remove the barriers that previously prevented virtualized data centers from reaching their full potential.

Virtualized Campus

Video is a rapidly growing application in campus networks. Video applications are more than just video conferencing or video streaming. Enterprise video applications include desktop HD video, video telephony, enterprise TV, IP video surveillance, and other video generation and sharing. Bring your own mobile device (BYOD) is another trend emerging in campus networks. Video, voice, data, and BYOD place significant pressure on the distribution network and core network of the campus.

Compared to traditional Layer 2 and Layer 3 network designs in the campus, the core network and distribution network can be virtualized through the Virtual Switching System (VSS) using Cisco® Catalyst® 6500 Series Switches. VSS is a network system virtualization technology that aggregates two or more Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches into a single virtual switch. VSS adjusts the bandwidth capacity of the system through automatic load sharing. VSS improves operational efficiency by simplifying the network and reducing switch management overhead by more than 50 percent. VSS facilitates continuous communication without interruption of application service. VSS can enhance existing multi-layer switching architectures without fundamentally changing the architecture, thereby increasing technology adoption and ease of migration.