Monday, October 8, 2007

UNH Interop Lab Builds 10 Gig Data Center Fabric

The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) hosted a "10 Gigabit Ethernet Technology Summit" as part of its efforts to verify standards conformance and interoperability between 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches, cables, 10GBASE-T data ports and iSCSI storage devices.

During the event, nearly 40 companies collaborated to build what is described as the largest multi-vendor 10 Gigabit Ethernet unified data and storage fabric ever deployed. Such a "unified fabric" using high-performance Ethernet for data and storage is seen as an alternative to the current practice of wiring such networks with a mix of Ethernet as well as closed and proprietary technologies.

The 10 Gig Tech Summit test plans encompassed a mix of typically deployed and emerging 10 Gigabit Ethernet technologies, including LRM, SFP+ and XFP optical interconnects, CX4 copper, backplane Ethernet ports, iSCSI targets and initiators, iWARP and RDMA services, 10 GBASE-T devices and 10 Gigabit Ethernet switching.

UNH-IOL said the 10GBASE-T devices were shown to interoperate between four connectors at 100-meter lengths. The 10 Gigabit fabric successfully incorporated iSCSI targets and initiators running open source and commonly used commercial software and successfully passed emulated IP voice and video data between servers and switches.