Monday, October 08, 2012
Network scalability essential when supporting cloud efforts
Take a few minutes and think about what cloud computing really means from a networking perspective. If you stop to consider the full implications of the technology, it won't be long before you realize that we're all in a little over our heads when it comes to making it work. You see, for a while, the technology industry was so caught up in the cloud hype and its operational disruption that we didn't spend much time thinking about the technological disruption.
The focus of many cloud efforts has been so squarely on cutting costs and solving specific IT problems that we haven't always spent a lot of time thinking about what the technology changes in the data center.
Network implications of the cloud
Of course, data center managers have had to think about what the cloud means to them, and it's not always good news. Yes, the cloud enables efficiency and has pushed the data center to operate at a much faster pace than was possible without virtualized and orchestrated architecture. But not everything is able to keep up with the cloud. In particular, the network, in many cases, isn't ready to handle the technology.
In the past, the network has been looked at as a background facilitator. During that period, major CPU improvements, storage capacity improvements and other infrastructure upgrades became commonplace. But the network was left largely as it was. Now, many data center operators and private businesses are struggling to keep up.
Possible responses to cloud network challenges
According to a recent Data Center Knowledge report, one way companies can adjust to the cloud is to use the forwarding tables in their switches to enable network scalability and improve application performance. To accomplish this, companies have to move past traditional forwarding table configurations based on using more memory in the silicon that the switch uses. Instead, they have to emphasize a more integrated interface that enables better packet transmission.
The problem with this solution is that it is only one part of a multi-faceted solution. The cloud impacts every layer of the network, and flexibility needs to become the standard of the infrastructure, not an attribute of just a few switches. One way to do this is to enact better network monitoring and management. As the data center becomes more complex, managing the network for better scalability is key. Console server systems can prove invaluable in this process because they allow IT managers to remotely handle data center operations, improving management efficiency.
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.