Monday, March 26, 2012
More businesses converging data center networks
Historically, there has been a clear divide between data network systems and storage network infrastructure. In the past, such a system worked because it compartmentalized bandwidth and allowed for optimal data flow throughout facilities. However, rising demands created by cloud computing, virtualizations and emerging technology trends are making such a division impossible. This has led to the rise of data center network convergence.
According to a recent Data Center Knowledge report, a truly converged network has emerged as the Holy Grail of data center connectivity options, giving organizations the ability optimize data center traffic and reduce spending considerably.
At its core, a converged network uses basic cabling and network infrastructure that simultaneously handle storage and server networks instead of using specific protocols to provide connectivity separately to each set of systems. While this process has seen little adoption in the data center thus far, there is already a significant precedent for its success, as businesses have already gained substantially from converting Ethernet and IP voice network systems, allowing organizations to simultaneously transmit data and voice traffic through the same core infrastructure, the report said.
The end result of a converged data center network is an infrastructure that allows for lossless Ethernet traffic and block-based I/O. This makes the network setup ideal for large-scale database systems, which are rapidly becoming a more important part of data center operations with the rise of big data processes. Furthermore, converged architectures provide a core foundation for network advances, allowing service-oriented and service-based computing models that are becoming much more popular within enterprise operations, according to the news source.
Converged infrastructure also delivers considerable cost advantages, the report explained. Because the two core network systems operate using a similar protocol and common cabling infrastructure, it is much easier to control spending and improve operational efficiency through easier management.
The converged infrastructure movement is just one of the trends changing the face of the data center network. The disruptive nature of cloud computing is pushing businesses to prioritize their network infrastructure, pushing rapid advances in the sector. The cloud requires far more bandwidth than traditional data center setups, as it delivers data-rich applications and services to users through the web. It also changes the face of the network because dropped data packets and latency cannot be tolerated in the cloud, creating demand for holistic upgrades.
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