Wednesday, June 22, 2011

New Servers? 10 Gbps? What’s next?

I was looking in an IT add from one of my computer suppliers and it prompted me to remind fellow internet users the new generation of Ethernet is affordable and available.
I know, you companies have already put lots of big bucks into your Servers and many upgrades already. You have spent lots of money getting to where you are at and feel you are comfortable.
If you have a recent purchase of a server or switch it might be labeled somewhere on the face; 10/100/1000 or10/100. The 10/100/1000 is an upgrade model and will give you the 10 Gbps you will want or crave sometime in the near future.
So why upgrade when, when all is working so well?    Dell, for example, now has a number of servers that are presenting either converged networking adapters (CNAs) or iSCSI interfaces that are 10 Gbps like the PowerEdge R810. This model still has two built-in 1 Gbps Ethernet interfaces, but also includes two 10 Gbps interfaces through an OEM agreement with Emulex. You may see a number of storage and networking products start to offer 10 Gbps interfaces. Does this mean or desk tops and workstations are ready for it?
Ask you IT Pro if you are ready for it. Making the initial change from what you have now that works to a new cost to the upgrade may not what you need right now. Smaller offices could get away with a partial upgrade for less money that what you would expect. For example I helped on an install a few weeks ago. Where the workstations and internet connections were upgraded, new ATM’s installed the whole nine yards. Did they need it? Some one thought so.
With a large project like and that one really wasn’t yet still had to be assembled in steps or phases. The servers were upgraded one weekend, while at the same time branch offices had the switches and hubs installed, however before the week for the workstations were installed they still had to be  up and running so the worked off the old system the whole time. 10 Gbps routers and switches in the network closets were in place the servers and the software were installed. Then comes the weekend when everyone leaves and the IT guys make the change.
We would then come in and switch out the workstations, then change the plugs from the patch panel to the new 10 Gbps switch Test start the data transfer clean up and we were done. At the same time the main server is changed over and tested.  This sounds easy enough, however the time and steps and actions taken can be a mess for everyone, including a costly for the investment. Depending on the number of offices and the number of workstations a company has. Handling it yourself might not be a good idea. There are firms that do Network mergers for a small price and would be rewarding for you and the company if or when it becomes necessary for transmigration.
My suggestions; if you are purchasing new equipment or gadgets for the office anytime soon, get the interface that will handle the 10 Gbps now spend the extra 10 bucks or so to get it. Then when moving day comes you will have fewer items to purchase and they will be in place.


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