Efficient Unified Fabric Advances the Ethernet to Become the Data Center Fabric
Storage infrastructures are evolving from multiple topologies such as Fibre Channel, Ethernet / iSCSI and Direct Attach to one built primarily on a single topology. A single integrated network will allow IT administrators to easily manage their entire storage infrastructure, from high bandwidth mission-critical applications requiring the highest service levels to backup and archive repository where data is retained for compliance and regulatory requirements. This single fabric ties it all together simply. At 10Gb/sec speeds, questions on whether this technology performs are virtually eliminated.
Prepare Now to Get the Many Benefits of Efficient Unified Fabric

Efficient Unified Fabric on 10GbE can help data centers of all sizes lower capital and operational expenses. With just one fabric to manage there will be less hardware and cabling to purchase and maintain. Because of the widespread use of Ethernet components, the cost of this technology from any angle is leading edge.

Increased use of virtual machines on more powerful servers is driving up bandwidth requirements. 10Gb Ethernet provides the increased bandwidth to handle the additional requirements of more virtualized servers. Benefits from consolidation and virtualization are helping organizations reduce their hardware and operating costs, as well as simplify the management of their data centers.

Unifying on Ethernet — a well-known IP network protocol — means that managing the data center can be simpler, easier and require less time and expertise. IT administrators are free to focus on providing solutions and improving efficiencies for their businesses and clients.

Get the Benefits of 10GbE Now

Now that 10Gb Ethernet is widely available, many IT administrators have been transitioning to 10GbE to increase performance, reduce costs and improve reliability. The results are increased input/output (I/O) capacity for better utilization of their virtualized machines. With the ability to deliver more performance with less hardware due to consolidation, companies achieve a reduced data center footprint resulting in reduced power and cooling expenses. Key applications like backup and video streaming will benefit from 10Gb. IT departments are also finding their disaster recovery efforts are easier to manage with 10GbE since additional sites can easily be replicated over the Internet and distance is no longer a consideration. The Ethernet protocol is a widely known, mature technology. No special skills are required to quickly deploy this high performance storage network.

10GbE products


  • Dell/EqualLogic PS6010 and PS6510
  • PowerEdge Blade Servers
  • Dell PowerConnect 8024F
  • Dell PowerConnect M8024
  • Intel 10GbE Network Interface Cards
  • Broadcom 10GbE Network Interface Cards
  • Cisco® Nexus 5020



iSCSI has several advantages that makes it ideal in an Ethernet network, especially one with 10Gb. iSCSI is a mature technology built on the robust recovery mechanisms of TCP/IP. iSCSI offers a great deal of flexibility with different software and hardware initiators for many different price/performance options with easily routable server-to-storage access that isn’t configuration limited. It runs over standard Ethernet so it can be routed across LANs/WANs and can run on both clients and servers and across both SMB and enterprise data centers. Plus when Data Center Bridging (DCB) arrives it will offer even further enhanced congestion management capabilities that will be required for FCoE but will just further enhance the capabilities of iSCSI. With iSCSI customers can move to an Efficient Unified Fabric architecture more quickly and gain additional benefits from DCB when it becomes widely available.

Learn more about iSCSI technology and Dell products

Fibre Channel over Ethernet

The plan for Fibre Channel over Ethernet is to have consolidated FC storage and data networks that share IP and SAN traffic in the same pipe. The standards board is expected to set final standard for FCoE soon. Dell supports and is actively monitoring the developments of DCB standards and we are participating in the pre-committee for the new Edge Virtual Bridging, EVB, standards. In the interim many solutions are starting to come on the market that Dell supports for data centers planning to switch from FC to FCoE. FCoE makes sense for customers who want to transition to a unified Ethernet fabric, but would like to support their investment in FC storage. The FCoE infrastructure will include Converged Network Adapters (CNAs) to support Ethernet and FC. In the converged network, a server needs only one CNA to access any data anywhere. Dell believes that the technology delivered by CNAs are strategically important and recently announced a partnership with Brocade.

Learn More About

Dell’s Efficient Unified Fabric Partners include:

  • Brocade
  • Intel
  • Broadcom
  • QLogic
  • Mellanox
  • Cisco