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Internet's growing user base asks IT staffs to make adjustments

By Donna Donnowitz
November 6, 2014

The Internet is still rapidly expanding, and growth is facilitated by building up the infrastructure of the nation's data centers. Cisco's 2014 Global Cloud Index revealed that the workload for data centers is expected to go up by three times and reach an annual 8.6 zettabytes of traffic by 2018, according to Data Center Knowledge. This growth rate of 23 percent over five years will be driven by increased use of online media streaming and by the growing sophistication of data center infrastructures around the globe. IT staffs will need to adjust in order to keep pace with the increasingly wider Web.

Denser Internet population pushes traffic
The Internet has gained waves of new users worldwide as the technology necessary to provide access has become increasingly commoditized . Cisco reports that half of the world's 7.6 billion people will have access to the Internet by 2018, and a quarter of that population will have access to some type of cloud network. The growth of the cloud is particularly relevant in the expansion of the Internet. Cloud traffic alone saw a 9 percent jump in estimated growth compared to studies of trends that measured growth until 2017. Not surprisingly, the number of nations ready to set up their own cloud infrastructure, determined by development to a fixed network, increased by 38 percent from 2013 to 2014.

Strategies to deal with the surge
Data center managers are faced with the challenge of expanding their operations (and hardware) to meet the needs of growing Internet traffic. Cooling is a priority as demand on hardware increases and overheating equipment becomes a larger threat, according to USA Today. In addition, facility managers must account for the massive amounts of power required to run and cool the data center. The latest hardware is a must, as device manufacturers have found ways to make equipment more energy efficient and better at dispersing heat. Many data centers install chiller units to deliver cool air constantly and organize their racks to maximize the efficiency of heat flow.

Improved cooling strategies are essential because one of the most effective ways to deal with surging Internet traffic is to add hardware, reducing the workload of pre-existing devices. Burt Kaliski, chief technology officer for Verisign, noted that companies can take advantage of the scalable architectures to keep pace with the growing Internet. Making investments in modular architecture in the present, for example, could help prepare a company for growth in the future. Likewise, upgrading old copper wiring with fiber to Ethernet solutions can help data centers avoid bottlenecking scenarios as they deal with an increased flow of information.

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 160 km.


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