VMWORLD, SAN FRANCISCO and COSTA MESA, Calif, August 28, 2012 – Emulex Corporation (NYSE:ELX) has announced that it has teamed with leading industry analysts, including Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), IDC, Evaluator Group and 451 Research, to demonstrate the strategic importance of I/O in the data centre for four key trends: virtualisation, cloud computing, big data and convergence. The new education series, which is an anthology of briefs by industry analysts and a series of associated webcasts, aims to help IT professionals recognise the strategic importance of I/O and make informed decisions. To better understand the critical role of I/O related to these trends, Emulex also surveyed more than 1,500 IT leaders.
“The network has truly become a critical component in the application, whether it is the Internet, cloud, virtualisation, clustering or mobile devices,” said Shaun Walsh, senior vice president of marketing and corporate development, Emulex. “These applications have special requirements, and are driving substantial increases in network traffic. In fact, in a recent survey we conducted, 76 percent of respondents said that network I/O is the most critical potential bottleneck in the data centre.”
The full results of the Emulex survey, which polled more than 1,500 IT professionals across North America and Europe, will be published in September 2012. The survey focused on IT professionals’ views of data centre issues and trends, including network bandwidth and I/O, virtualisation, cloud, big data and network convergence.
The education series, entitled ‘Why I/O Is Strategic,’ examines critical I/O considerations across four key technology areas, including virtualisation, cloud computing, big data and convergence. Key findings from the analyst briefs on these trends include:
ESG notes that as highly virtualised environments continue to mature and become more flexible and dynamic, it will be critical to assess, design and architect appropriate I/O connectivity to ensure success. Organisations need to focus on more than servers, networking and storage – I/O also needs to be a strategic piece of an overall IT system. In the Emulex survey, 85 percent of respondents said network throughput was a significant or very significant gating factor in limiting how many virtual machines they could run on a single physical server.
“Organisations continue to build agile IT infrastructures that are capable of responding to rapidly changing conditions, and virtualisation is a key part of that agility,” said Bob Laliberte, senior analyst, ESG. “As virtualisation grows, it will be critical for IT staffs to understand I/O’s importance in ensuring that the virtualised environment continues to operate and scale properly.”
IDC research shows that public IT cloud services will grow at almost four times the rate of the IT market as a whole. Worldwide revenue from public IT cloud services will reach $72.9 billion in 2015. As this market continues to mature, cloud service providers will need to develop a very broad portfolio of services for their customers, and a highly scalable I/O foundation will be an essential part of that portfolio. In the Emulex survey, nearly 40 percent of respondents said the advent of the cloud has increased the need for network bandwidth in the data centre by 25 percent or more.
“Public cloud services allow organisations to reduce costs, improve their agility, and deliver rich content such as video, digital images, music and software to mobile users,” said Rick Villars, vice president, Information and Cloud, IDC. “As the number of mobile users and the overall volume of available content grows, I/O will play a critical role in making sure that public cloud services deliver the proper user experience.”
The Evaluator Group notes that a pent-up demand for the tangible business benefits resulting from big data analytics, including Hadoop, now exists within the enterprise. This demand has been building at the CEO and CIO levels, as well as with business line managers. To meet this demand, clusters will be scaled in multiple dimensions, more nodes will be added for more processing and storage, and faster processors will be adopted as they become more ubiquitous. More than half of all respondents in the Emulex survey said that over the next two years, big data would increase their organisation’s need for bandwidth in the data centre by more than 50 percent.
“Network infrastructure for big data applications should be bandwidth-capable and adaptable to handle the impact of ingesting large volumes of data and delivering it to big data analytics systems,” said John Webster, senior partner, Evaluator Group. “The high volume of data that needs to be transferred can be compared to trying to move an elephant through a series of pipes.”
451 Research examines how network convergence is becoming a strategic choice for IT managers as they evaluate next steps in their data centre deployments to increase company competitiveness, reduce OPEX and deal with a myriad of new demands. Once independent worlds, storage and data centre networking are converging to meet the flexibility and scalability demands of new data centre infrastructures. In fact, 78 percent of those surveyed by Emulex said they believed it was inevitable that data and storage networks would converge into a single, consolidated network.
“Historically, data networking, storage networking and server networking took different paths for a variety of technological and political reasons,” said Eric Hanselman, research director, 451 Research. “Today, these networks are converging in the data centre to create best-of-breed solutions that improve performance and reduce complexity and costs.”