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February 2012 Vol. 3, No. 1

Network performance testing considerations for a 40 GbE upgrade

Upgrading from 10 Gigabit Ethernet data center links to 40 Gigabit Ethernet is the obvious answer to handling the ever increasing network traffic resulting from improved processor performance and virtualization. But faster backbone links alone will not necessarily improve performance. Upgrading to 40 GbE will require a new level of network performance testing that takes into consideration a number of elements. Performance problems to consider before a 40 GbE upgrade Since the IEEE ratified 802.3ba for 40 and 100 GbE, networking vendors have launched a range of products aimed at improving link speed. Specifically, they are hoping to address the bottlenecking on 10 GbE links between racks caused by engineers replacing 1 GbE server network interfaces with 10 GbE interfaces and 10 GbE traffic coming to the top of the rack from each server. Before upgrading backbone links, there are a host of other problem areas and influencing factors to consider: Backplane: In some cases, even though vendors have released higher capacity interface ...

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