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Big networking changes coming in 2013

By Donna Donnawitz
January 9, 2013
A new year is always an exciting time. Besides my annual goal of getting to the gym more often, which I always fail, I generally greet the year by looking at how key technological systems will change during the period. In most cases, the latter ritual is much more successful. In 2013, networking will change substantially in response to emerging technologies.

If you look at 2012, you will notice it was a year in which a variety of solutions shifted from fringe technologies to prominent systems. These include server virtualization, cloud computing, big data, mobile device use and online video. While a lot of different things go into each of these technologies, there is a common thread - the network.

Many of the solutions that gained prominence in 2012 put new pressure on the network. Moving into the new year, businesses will need to respond to these demands by making strategic investments in data center network infrastructure.

Considering strategic network upgrades
According to a recent Data Center Knowledge report, big data use is one technological practice that will change how networks operate in the coming year. The traditional three-layer network model in the data center creates major challenges from a big data perspective, as its built-in redundancies and operational processes create an environment that is not flexible or fast enough to handle big data processes. Moving forward, companies will likely resolve this by putting more resources into Layer 2 functionality in order to enable more flexible operations and support the growing amount of east-west traffic in the data center.

The news source also explained that TRILL could hit a wall in the coming year. The Transparent Interconnection of Lots of Links was expected to be a major contributor to the future of networks, helping the data center move beyond Spanning Tree Protocol. However, Ethernet-as-Transport is gaining prominence quickly and could end up supplanting TRILL as an emerging protocol.

Responding to ongoing trends
A broad look at these network developments reveals an overarching theme - more bandwidth is required. Even when companies address problems in the data center, there is often a need for better performance in the WAN. One way to deal with this is to take advantage of MAN technologies. MAN solutions are made available through the use of fiber to Ethernet media converters, which attach dark fiber to enterprise networks, creating an interconnect that offers much more bandwidth than the WAN in a cost-effective way.

Perle has an extensive range of Managed and Unmanaged Fiber Media Converters to extended copper-based Ethernet equipment over a fiber optic link, multimode to multimode and multimode to single mode fiber up to 160km.


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