WHITE P APER System Networks Drive the Next Generation of Automated, Dynamic Datacenters Sponsored by: IBM Lucinda Borovick December 2011 EXECUTIVE SUMMARYwww.idc.com Todays competitive business environment is changing the nature of the datacenter, driving the need for more flexible, scalable, and cost-effective approaches than ever before. One way datacenter managers are meeting this need is by adopting cloud- oriented approaches to computing, which in turn is placing greater demand on theF.508.935.4015 system network in terms of speed, flexibility, scalability, cost-efficiency, and support for technologies such as virtualization. The datacenter network is in the midst of an evolution from a fixed, data-centric, client/server topology to an application-driven, dynamic network better suited to theP.508.872.8200 needs of cloud computing and Big Data. By incorporating greater flexibility into the network, datacenters can improve their agility and better respond to business needs and support changing business requirements. This is driving an explosion in high-end networking equipment, and IDC expects that by 2015, 10GbE will represent 61% of datacenter network port shipments.Global Headquarters: 5 Speen Street Framingham, MA 01701 USA IDC believes that a converged network infrastructure, combining server and storage networks onto a unified 10GbE fabric, is the most appropriate technology path to meet the requirements for todays high-performance datacenter applications. Having server, storage, and network resources working in concert not only brings benefits in terms of agility and scalability but also maximizes capital investments by reducing the need to invest in duplicate hardware. These networking environments should be standards based and best of breed. This enables enterprises to pick and choose the best available and most cost-effective technologies and provides future upgrade paths without locking them into proprietary offerings. IBMs System Networking business and portfolio, recently expanded with the acquisition of BLADE Network Technologies, are designed to address these datacenter needs in a modular, standards-based, and interoperable approach. By combining network intelligence with compute and storage systems resources, IBM is working to deliver a unified fabric networking infrastructure that addresses the needs of todays virtualized, cloud-based infrastructure in a manner that is scalable, cost- effective, and easy to manage and that provides the flexibility to allow businesses to be more innovative and competitive in the market.