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Network convergence becoming key in the data center

By Max Burkhalter
January 26, 2012
Virtualization and cloud computing are changing the data center. Within facilities, storage needs are on the rise, more data-rich applications and services are being delivered to end users and network transmissions between servers is on the rise. In response, a significant trend toward network investments is emerging within the sector. Chief among these upgrades is a move toward converged infrastructure. According to a recent Computing report, converging traditional data networks with storage infrastructure is becoming essential to supporting current operational demands.

Converging the LAN and SAN infrastructure is becoming more prominent in the data center industry, as the solution is able to reduce complexity within facilities. To meet bandwidth and diverse data transmission needs, data center operators often need to install more cabling infrastructure along with extra network equipment and an increase in ports in order to sustain operations in both storage and data infrastructure. However, operators can converge LAN and SAN setups to to reduce the amount of cabling and other equipment infrastructure needed to keep the network running, the report said.

This reduced dependence on infrastructure is proving particularly beneficial for organizations, as it allows them to reduce the costs of network operations, industry expert Eugene Berger told Computing.

"The way we see it is that [converged network infrastructure] is going to reduce end-user costs from a capex and opex point of view, because if you start putting data and networking into a single cable, less hardware and maintenance is required," Berger told the news source.

According to Berger, the move to converged infrastructure is largely dependent on upgrades in terms of network speeds and data throughput capabilities. He explained that faster Ethernet standards are making it easier for data center operators to converge their network infrastructure and improve their overall operational efficiency, the report explained.

Converged infrastructures are not the only change coming to the data center network. Infrastructure is also being tied to sustainability in a more tangible way. Making the data center more environmentally efficient is key, as virtualization pushes server usage rates higher, often leading to hotter operating temperatures and an increased need for cooling systems. The network can improve efficiency by adding a layer of monitoring to every aspect of operations and giving managers more control over facility operations.

Perle’s wide range of 1 to 48 port Perle Console Servers provide data center managers and network administrators with secure remote management of any device with a serial console port. Plus, they are the only truly fault tolerant Console Servers on the market with the advanced security functionality needed to easily perform secure remote data center management and out-of-band management of IT assets from anywhere in the world.


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