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Xsigo's I/O Virtualization Technology to Create a Private Cloud Infrastructure

Wholesale Supplier Builds Private Cloud with Xsigo Virtual I/O, Achieves 4X the Scalability and Performance at Less Cost

Xsigo Systems, a provider of data center I/O virtualization, on Monday announced that Supplies Network Inc., a provider of technology and services to an independent dealer channel that sells computer and imaging supplies, has deployed Xsigo's I/O virtualization technology to create a private cloud infrastructure. Compared with alternatives based on Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), Xsigo yielded 4X the performance potential and greater scalability at 50% less overall cost.

"When we set out to modernize our data center, we recognized that virtual I/O would be essential to meet our scalability, performance, and cost objectives," said Daniel Shipley, Supplies Network's data center architect. "We looked at popular FCoE alternatives but were concerned about their performance, long term cost, and immature standards. Xsigo virtual I/O offers up to 4X the performance of FCoE, lower cost, and a fully-open environment that eliminates vendor lock-in."

Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, Supplies Network's services include product management, order entry, distribution logistics, managed channel services and marketing. Xsigo was deployed as part of a data center modernization initiative launched to accommodate company growth, reduce costs, and enable new service offerings for the company's client base.

Xsigo virtual I/O was chosen to complement the company's virtualized server deployment consisting of sixteen HP DL380 servers, VMware vSphere software, and 10 Gig Ethernet connected storage. Supplies Network selected Xsigo to capitalize on the speed and scalability of Xsigo's InfiniBand fabric which can scale beyond 2,000 nodes and provides performance up to 40Gb/s per link. Xsigo's open fabric connects to widely-available server I/O cards and blade components from leading vendors including Dell, Hitachi, HP, IBM, and Supermicro. Other benefits include the flexibility to change and expand I/O configurations on-the-fly in response to new requirements.

"As an architect, Xsigo virtual I/O eases my mind because I don't have to worry about what's needed in the future. If I need to attach servers to my legacy Fibre Channel storage, or increase bandwidth or QoS for a hosted application, I can do that in seconds," Shipley continued. "And with Xsigo's InfiniBand fabric, the scalability and performance is unmatched. With FCoE I have to worry about immature standards, vendor interoperability, storage traffic monopolizing bandwidth, and routing between sites."

Building the Private Cloud with Virtual I/O
In addition to supporting its internal needs, Supplies Network also sought to develop a platform for its cloud-based service offerings. This required a flexible interconnect strategy that would allow data center resources to be interconnected when required to support application demands, yet isolated when required to support customer data security demands.

More Stories By Salvatore Genovese

Salvatore Genovese is a Cloud Computing consultant and an i-technology blogger based in Rome, Italy. He occasionally blogs about SOA, start-ups, mergers and acquisitions, open source and bleeding-edge technologies, companies, and personalities. Sal can be reached at hamilton(at)sys-con.com.

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