Q: What is a converged network adapter?

A: The primary goal of network convergence is the movement of alternative communication infrastructures onto the Ethernet protocol. Combining these network infrastructures, such as today's Fibre Channel storage communications, onto a single protocol and cabling can reduce data center cost and complexity.

To combine Fibre Channel and TCP/IP onto Ethernet, a set of protocol extensions to Ethernet itself were required. A new class of NICs were also required that were TCP/IP NICs as well as Fibre Channel host bus adapters (HBAs), both of which could transfer traffic over the traditional 8-pin Ethernet connection.

A converged network adapter is that combination peripheral that supports the simultaneous transfer of storage and traditional network traffic via the same connection.

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