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Network resiliency becoming more important

By Max Burkhalter
July 27, 2012
In the past, most corporate and data center networks have been widely looked at as business facilitators. They help keep operations going, but they do not necessarily play an important strategic role. In such a setup, keeping the network available as often as possible is critical to ensuring ongoing operations, but extremely high levels of resiliency were not always essential. However, the rise of the cloud, mobile computing, virtualization and smart infrastructure in buildings and utility grids is creating an environment in which the network is much more important than it was in the past.

Because the LAN, WAN and core data center network are far more important, it is vital that businesses establish highly resilient network setups. According to a recent CIOL report, network resiliency has emerged as an integral attribute of contemporary infrastructure setups, which have to be equipped to not only support critical business functions, but enable operational efficiency and technological innovation.

Because of this, more companies are actually looking beyond traditional models for resiliency and striving toward five nines reliability, which refers to 99.999 percent availability. This can be difficult to accomplish, especially using traditional architectures. The news source explained most data centers were set up with an active-passive approach to network availability, in which most of the functions ran in Layer 2, while Layer 3 kept a backup set up equipment available to be switched on in the event of an outage.

The problem with such a system is that it leaves an inherent delay between the moment when the primary network fails and the secondary solution switches on. Furthermore, plenty of thing can go wrong during startup because the unused configuration could have issues that prevent it from being easily switched on. As a result, more organizations are turning to an active-active network system, the report said. This platform involves having the primary and backup network running simultaneously, avoiding any downtime if the primary system fails.

The move toward more resilient networks highlights the importance of networking in general in the enterprise and a variety of other business sectors. Emerging technologies have made data center networking systems far more important than they have been in the past, especially since the actual internal data center network is key in not only supporting servers, but also allowing IT to manage the facility itself effectively. Therefore, downtime is extremely problematic and a resilient, well-managed network is a critical requirement.

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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