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Jon Toor Discusses I/O Director with DDJ

Jon Toor, VP Marketing at Xsigo Systems, talks to Dr. Dobb's Journal about the company's recently unveiled I/O Director, a software and hardware combination that virtualizes I/O connectivity to network and storage resources.

DDJ: Jon, what's the importance of the I/O Director?

JT: It basically redefines how servers are connected to storage and networks. What we're really about is consolidating server connectivity. Today's servers have a lot of connection coming out to storage and Ethernet networks. The first problem with this is complexity--you have so many connections going on. And two, the fixed nature of all these connections, you've got fixed cables, fixed cards--it's very difficult to repurpose a server from one thing to another. It's also very difficult to take full advantage of virtualization. With all the different cables coming out, you've a fixed asset that's linking up to a virtual asset. It creates a mismatch in term of capabilities.

So Xsigo is about virtualizing I/O, consolidating the multiple cables coming out of every server down to one cable coming out of each server that shares both networking and storage traffic. And then secondly, replacing all the fixed assets within the server, the fixed NICs and HBAs making storage and network connectivity. Replacing them with virtual NICs and HBAs. Just as you virtualize the processors and you can have many apps running on a single processor, what we do is we provide you with virtual I/O. You've got multiple types of I/O running on one single card. And you can launch different kinds of I/O within that environment in real time.

DDJ: And the I/O director is the traffic cop for all that connectivity?

JT: Exactly. The I/O Director becomes that shared resource, all the servers connect into the I/O Director by a single cable. Within the I/O Director that's taking the traffic and putting it out onto the SAN or onto the LAN, whichever network you require. You can have a dozen different networks coming into the I/O director. You have virtual connectivity in each of your servers, and you can direct that connectivity into any of those networks.

Read the entire interview, here.

Published Friday, September 28, 2007 6:02 AM by David Marshall
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