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HP Virtual Connect Flex-10

chuckk281
Trusted Contributor

HP Virtual Connect Flex-10

Today HP announced a new breakthrough technology extending the benfits of virtualization to server networking and storage infrastructures. HP’s new Virtual Connect Flex-10 Ethernet module is the industry’s first interconnect technology that can allocate the bandwidth of a 10Gb Ethernet network port across four network interface card (NIC) connections. This increase in bandwidth flexibility eliminates the need for additional network hardware equipment. As a result, customers deploying virtual machines and utilizing Virtual Connect Flex-10 can realize savings of up to 55 percent in network equipment costs. You get all the info you want and/or need at these websites: http://www.hp.com/go/bladesystem/virtualconnect http://www.hp.com/go/bladesystem/news These sites have product info, flash demo, partner supporting quotes and press release, and a bunch of other things. We also are working on a new TCO white paper for VC Flex-10 and how it saves you time, energy, and most importantly money. After all, some of us need Christmas money, our jobs, sound 401k accounts, etc.!!
4 REPLIES
Robin Geddes
Occasional Visitor

HP Virtual Connect Flex-10

Can you say what switches are (or are planning to be) certified with Flex-10? In particular are Cisco 6509 compatible switch-blades going to be supported?
grantjacobson
Occasional Visitor

HP Virtual Connect Flex-10

HP Flex-10 is a new and innovative server interconnect technology associated with HP Virtual Connect and operates between BladeSystem server blades and the integrated Virtual Connect modules. Because HP Virtual Connect modules use industry standard Ethernet uplinks from the BladeSystem enclosure, customers can connect BladeSystem infrastructure to Cisco and other standard Ethernet switches. No special certification is needed. [Updated on 1/6/2009 1:50 PM]
Robin Geddes
Occasional Visitor

HP Virtual Connect Flex-10

Thanks Grant for taking the time to reply, it is much appreciated. Can I have a do-over and ask the question a different way? Virtual Connect can connect but to take advantage of split speed capabilities, do both ends of the connection need to speak the Flex-10 protocol?. I have been told the Cisco switches are not capable of talking the Flex-10 protocol. A more direct question would be, "What Cisco switches support the Flex-10 protocol so independent channel speed selections and other Flex-10 features can be utilized?" R.
fdagosti
Occasional Visitor

HP Virtual Connect Flex-10

Flex-10 is a muxing and traffic metering technology. It is designed to reduce the number of active switching elements inside of the chassis. The highest aggregation benefit of this technology is when using the BL495c and 10GE LOM (since that would map to interconnect bays 1 & 2). This provides up to 8 interfaces down to the server over two adapters. The traffic control capabilities are a strict rate limiter. That is, you configure bandwidth in 100Mb increments and allocates that rate to a given interface. You can use, or not, all of the bandwidth assigned to the interface. The uplinks from the Flex-10 module look like traditional VC uplinks, so the connection to a Cisco switch would not need to understand the Flex-10 protocol. Today the protocol is proprietary to HP as is Virtual Connect. The Cisco switches approach bandwidth rate limiting is different than the rate limiting technology used in Flex-10. Cisco provides the ability to rate limit traffic in a number of ways using QOS / TOS / interface / VLAN and other. The traffic contracts are put in place, but instead of strictly limiting the bandwidth for all traffic, the rate of the entire interface is available to all traffic until the combined traffic levels exceed the thresholds of the applied contracts. Also, separate queues's are allocated for different traffic. This allows to you avoid head of line blocking situations, but not limit a 10G interface to only 2.5G if no one else is transmitting. The real benefit of the flex-10 is the reduction of active switching modules.