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The availability of Emulex’s intelligent storage processor for switches and appliances has an interesting impact on the ongoing debate between switches versus appliances. There is a perception that intelligent switches provide superior performance and scalability compared to appliances - that have traditionally been software-based. The use of the Emulex AV150 Intelligent Storage processors largely eliminates this debate – as it provides the same high- performance virtualization engine for the switch or appliance into which it is designed.

A Blueprint for the Fully Virtualized data center While each of the three aforementioned virtualization technologies offer their own benefits, a further increase in flexibility, operational and resource efficiency can be gained by combining them into an end-to-end approach. Figure 6 illustrates how an IT manager can supply all the elements of a storage service to her customers completely via “soft provisioning”. In other words, for a given customer, Storage Service = Virtual Server + Virtual HBA + Virtual Fabric + Virtual Disk.

In their evaluation and deployment of storage virtualization solutions, IT managers should ensure that their solutions are “invisible to the SAN.” Emulex has and continues to work with its partners to address this requirement via the use of its intelligent storage processor.

This fully virtualized approach to storage provisioning maximizes flexibility, operational and resource efficiency. The following example goes further to describe how this approach would operate:


console View

IT Tas : Provision a new server with 10TB of storage for Marketing, and another new server with 5TB of storage for Manufactu ing – on their respective departments’ fab ics

Provision virtual disks with parameters matching department needs

  • -

    10TB for Marketing RAID 5, 5TB for Manufacturing RAID 10 with

replication. Set up appropriate access control.

Provision virtual servers on hypervisor – either from scratch or using guest migration tools – WinXP for Marketing, Linux for Manufacturing

Create two virtual fabrics – Virtual Fabric #1 for Marketing and Virtual Fabric #2 for Manufacturing

Create multiple Fibre Channel HBA ports – a set for the Marketing virtual server and another set for Manufacturing virtual server

Assign Marketing ports on Fibre Channel HBA to Virtual Fabric #1 and Manufacturing ports to Virtual Fabric #2

Mount appropriate volume onto each virtual server OS

Both departments are up & running on completely virtual resources!

Storage virtualization console

Server virtualization console- virtual server provisioning view

SAN management console

Server virtualization console – HBA configuration view

Server virtualization console – HBA configuration view

Virtual server consoles


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