IT@Intel White Paper Intel IT IT Best Practices Data Centers January 2011

Upgrading Data Center Network Architecture to 10 Gigabit Ethernet
To accommodate the increasing demands that data center growth places on Intel’s network, Intel IT is converting our data center network architecture to 10 gigabit Ethernet (GbE) connections. Existing 100 megabit per second (Mb/s) and 1 GbE connections no longer support Intel’s growing business requirements. Our new 10 GbE data ce...nter fabric design will enable us to accommodate current growth and meet increasing network demand in the future.

Intel IT is engaged in a verticalization strategy that optimizes data center resources to meet specific business requirements in different computing areas. Data center trends in three of these areas drove our decision to upgrade, including server virtualization and consolidation in office and enterprise computing environments, and rapid growth in design computing applications and their performance requirements. Additionally, we experience 40 percent per year growth in our Internet connection requirements.
While designing the new data center fabric, we tested several 10 GbE connection products and chose those that offered the highest quality performance and reliability. We also balanced ideal design against cost considerations.
The new data center fabric design provides many benefits:
• Reduced data center complexity. As virtualization increases, a 10 GbE network allows us to use fewer physical servers and switches.
• Reduced total cost of ownership in a virtualized environment. A 10 GbE fabric has the potential to reduce network cost in our virtualized environment by 18 to 25 percent, mostly due to simplifying the LAN and cable infrastructures. The new system also requires fewer data center space, power, and cooling resources.
• Increased throughput. Faster connections and reduced network latency provide design engineers with faster workload completion times and improved productivity.
• Increased agility. The network can easily adapt to meet changing business needs and will enable us to meet future requirements, such as additional storage capacity.
Upgrading our network architecture will optimize our data center infrastructure to respond faster to business needs while enhancing the services and value IT brings to the business.
Read the full 10GbE Data Center Upgrade White Paper.