We on the Intel® Ethernet Virtualization team have just finished up the 2nd paper in a series about Ethernet in a virtualized environment.  The 1st paper is a study in best practices with VMware® ESX 4.0 and 10Gb Ethernet, as introduced in an earlier blog:

http://communities.intel.com/community/wired/blog/2010/07/07/simplify-vmware-vsphere-4-networking-with-intel-ethernet-10-gigabit-server-adapters

 

 

The new paper discusses how one might need to re-imagine the way the Ethernet in the datacenter looks when you introduce racks of servers employing virtualization solutions.  Historically a rack of servers had two or more 1Gb Ethernet uplinks to a top of rack switch, which in turn was uplinked usually to a 10Gb Ethernet backbone in the datacenter.

 

 

With virtualization, you can imagine that the virtual machines have Ethernet uplinks to the virtual switch within the Hypervisor/VMM – this becomes essentially what was traditionally a top of rack switch, connecting all the virtual machines in the physical server within a rack.  Now all of these physical servers employing virtual switches can be uplinked with 10Gb Ethernet connection to a 10Gb Ethernet switch at the top of the rack, which in turn is still connected to the 10Gb Ethernet backbone in the datacenter.

 

 

 

This latest paper is available here:

http://download.intel.com/support/network/sb/paradigmshiftdatapaper.pdf

 

We had printouts of this at IDF just last week and it was well received, with many well-known companies looking to re-brand the document and publish it themselves.

 

 

 

Give it a read and let us know what you think.