Could Xsigo help cut your cable count?

Could Xsigo help cut your cable count?

Summary: Amid the explosion of activity on the hypervisor technology market sits a company that could save you money and hassle -- and it's just launched a new management console and 40Gbps server fabric.Xsigo sells datacentre fabrics: these consist of boxes designed to reduce the cabling load by connecting any server to any network or storage system.

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TOPICS: Networking
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Amid the explosion of activity on the hypervisor technology market sits a company that could save you money and hassle -- and it's just launched a new management console and 40Gbps server fabric.

Xsigo sells datacentre fabrics: these consist of boxes designed to reduce the cabling load by connecting any server to any network or storage system. The company claims that it reduces complexity by "eliminating 70% of the cards, cables and switch ports", and that you get up to 80Gbps to each server at half the price of traditional infrastructure. Much of this saving comes because interconnections are managed electronically, as there's only one cable per server to the appliance, one to the storage system, and another to the network switch.

This, says the company, allows you to reconfigure quickly and reduces hardware costs -- it certainly seems to reduce the cabling load and help to save floor space. Connections can be changed at any time, even while a server is live.

Company CEO Lloyd Carney claimed that VMware's orchestration system vMotion can be speeded up by 2.4x when running over 10GbE so that, for example, a transfer can take 20 seconds versus 181 seconds because connections can be dynamically aggregated as required.

The company's new management console "allows you to see all I/O across all servers on one screen," according to Carney. "You can view FC and Ethernet traffic with granularity from specific ports to entire servers. You can also view historical results and provision extra bandwidth on demand."

The new console gives a fair amount of information, the company claims. "We can see traffic moving from a VM to the infrastructure where before you had to use probes," Carney said. "You load a Xsigo driver onto the server and it sees the Xsigo box and talks to the hypervisor. Now we can see and manage all traffic flows to and from all VMs.

"The top of the Xsigo box connects to the servers, the bottom of it connects to the networks. It is a very low latency architecture, and can we load balance across servers."

It is on the other hand another box to manage, another box to give space to in the rack. However, you might consider that cutting physical cabling has to be a good thing, even if only from a cooling perspective, and you might be able to generate an prima facie case for a pilot study. So if you're involved in datacentre management, it's probably worth a look.

Topic: Networking

Manek Dubash

About Manek Dubash

Editor, journalist, analyst, presenter and blogger.


As well as blogging and writing news & features here on ZDNet, I work as a cloud analyst with STL Partners, and write for a number of other news and feature sites.


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An IT journalist for 25+ years, I worked for Ziff-Davis UK for almost 10 years on PC Magazine, reaching editor-in-chief. Before that, I worked for a number of other business & technology publications and was published in national and international titles.

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