Convergence simplifies the data center by connecting flexible pools of storage and computation using a high-speed switched Ethernet fabric. Scale-out computing and storage solutions provide a way to efficiently exploit the resources within a converged data center to deliver scalable services. Scale-out architectures make use of clusters of systems to deliver services. Systems can be added and removed from the cluster to increase and decrease capacity to match demand. Converged data centers make it easy to assign systems to clusters and move systems between clusters as demand changes, increasing efficiency and flexibility. Examples of scale-out computing include: web farms, Hadoop/Map-Reduce clusters, NAS/iSCSI storage clusters and memcached clusters.
The performance of a cluster depends on the performance of the systems in the cluster and the network that connects them. Monitoring cluster performance requires a scalable monitoring solution that integrates network and system monitoring. Most switch vendors already support the sFlow standard for network performance monitoring. The sFlow standard has been recently extended to include server performance statistics, providing the integrated, scalable view of network and system performance needed to manage a converged network and the service clusters that it contains.
Traffic Sentinel utilizes sFlow to provide a clear picture of cluster performance.