The days of data centres containing large bunches of cabling could be numbered according to Intel. The company is set to introduce a new technology that, Intel claims, will radically reduce the amount of cables needed to run an average data centre.

The company said that the new technology, Open FCoE would enable all data centre traffic run over a single cable using the company's 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GbE) Server Adapter X520 family. According to Intel, it would mean that organisations would be able to create vuirtualised data centres by consolidating multiple data and storage networks onto a single 10GbE network.

The savings could be colossal: Intel claimed that the technology could save more than 120 million metres of data cabling – enough to encircle the Earth three times. More importantly, it would save financially-straitened data centre managers a good deal of their infrastructure costs.

"What's frustrating for IT managers is that about 80 percent of data center dollars are spent on infrastructure costs, not on innovation," said Kirk Skaugen, vice president and general manager, Data Centre Group, Intel. "Expanding Intel Ethernet to include Open FCoE will help simplify the network and drive more of the IT budget toward innovation. We think IT departments can lower infrastructure costs by 29 percent, reduce power by almost 50 percent and cut cable costs by 80 percent by moving to a unified network."

Other cost savings come from the fact that Open FCoE provides unified networking without the need for additional expensive, proprietary hardware, enabling IT managers to use existing management tools for server network and storage connectivity.

The technology has already got widespread industry support. Vendors who are working with Intel on the technology include Cisco, Dell, EMC, NetApp, Oracle and Red Hat. The Intel Open FCoE software stack is available as a free upgrade on existing X520 family products.