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Network setup key in multi-tenant data centers

By Max Burkhalter
March 1, 2012
The multi-tenant data center market is shifting quickly, as cloud computing is leading to a boom for hosting services and more operators are having to find ways to adapt their facilities in light of the flexibility and performance demands of the cloud. According to a recent Data Center Knowledge report, building out an L4-7 network could be an ideal solution for meeting these demands if the infrastructure is managed effectively.

In such a setup, the network is split into four quadrants, one for each layer in the four through seven range. This allows data center operators to customize the resources used within each layer. For example, the report explained that decisions need to be made pertaining to which quadrants will be built on physical hardware and which will be virtual. This will help dictate what the performance capabilities of each layer will be, and systems can be established to monitor each segment separately to ensure consistent performance within the service level requirements of each sector.

Typically, organizations devote the first quadrant of this grid to the IT users, as their technical and data throughput requirements are typically much higher than other clients. The other sectors are then given to various customers based on their service level needs.

This setup can provide a layer of flexibility that traditional Layer 2 and Layer 3 network systems cannot easily match. However, the L2/L3 infrastructure deals with data packets differently, creating an environment in which organizations need to shift how they manage network transmissions and other throughput requirements in light of the unique requirements of an L4-7 setup.

The potential shift to an L4-7 data center network comes, in large part, because cloud computing adds a level of complexity to servers and storage that cannot easily be met using traditional networking systems. Organizations are responding to this in a variety of ways, including flattening Ethernet architectures to remove Layer 3 and have a Layer 2 only network, investing in high-performance equipment that simply adds bandwidth and speed to the traditional L2/L3 infrastructure or even moving beyond that setup entirely and investing in an L4-7 system. Regardless of how organizations are choosing to adjust their networking architectures in light of the cloud, it is clear that businesses are responding to the emerging technology by investing in network upgrades in some form.

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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