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Converged Network Adapter (CNA)

Definition - What does Converged Network Adapter (CNA) mean?

A converged network adapter (CNA) is a single piece of hardware that supports two different functions by offering both a fiber channel host bus adapter for connecting a server to a storage area network (SAN), and an Ethernet connection to connect the same server to a local area network (LAN) involving workstations and other operational hardware pieces.

The converged network adapter allows network administrators to save money on various cables and connections by providing a single connection between the storage area network and the Ethernet network.

Techopedia explains Converged Network Adapter (CNA)

A converged network adapter uses a PCI express expansion interface. Converged network adapters can be outfitted with specific hardware to meet performance standards, including 10 Gigabit Enhanced Ethernet (10GBEE), which supports high-performance network transmissions. Using a CNA this way, some network administrators may see a significant reduction in operating costs.

In general, the use of converged network adapters is one of many strategies used to consolidate IT setups and harness the power of new technologies for efficient IT operations. Along with new models for storing, handling and evaluating data, hardware solutions like converged network adapters drive comprehensive progress toward more sophisticated and powerful computing systems. Although things like processor size and speed, data storage media capacity and complex interface programming have largely driven advances in consumer products and other areas of IT, network solutions like converged network adapters, as well as conceptual network administration tools, are changing the face of the modern networks and enabling evermore capable and intelligent networking.

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