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Networking a key component in data center consolidation

By Max Burkhalter
June 18, 2012
During the past few years, data and IT requirements have changed substantially throughout the enterprise. As a result, IT departments have grown, with hardware being spread out in small data centers in various branch offices along with the corporate headquarters and, sometimes, remote facilities. According to a recent Computer Technology Review report, this process of expanding IT has led to an inefficient and overly expensive setup that is unsustainable as technology becomes even more important for businesses. Data center consolidation is the answer.

Data center consolidation, on the surface, is relatively simple. Implement virtual server infrastructure, deploy the cloud and add on a few other similar technologies and the data center can easily be consolidated. However, the news source said there is much more to consolidating data center systems. Organizations also have to establish a system that includes such attributes as more efficient physical asset use and unified IT processes.

To achieve these attributes within a consolidated data center, there are a few key steps that have to be completed, the report said. The first is discovery. Organizations hoping to consolidate their data center systems effectively have to begin by understanding exactly what they have in their various distributed facilities. This process begins by identifying all of a company's IT assets and concludes when those configuration items have been added to a centralized document or database, making it easier to plan the consolidation project.

Once this step has been completed, businesses have a solid foundation to build upon. From this base, they can begin strategically developing their new consolidated facility, performing such tasks as capacity planning and performance analysis, the news source explained. When discovery and planning are finished, companies can move on to implementation and ongoing management, two key stages that are much easier when solid tactics are already in place.

As companies traverse the path to data center consolidation, they also have to consider how the process will impact network performance. Consolidated server systems put more data into less hardware, creating port bandwidth issues and more east-west network traffic in the data center. North-south bandwidth requirements also rise, making the network a priority for organizations considering consolidation projects. Without the right networking upgrades in conjunction with consolidation, severe performance issues can end up detracting from the value of the project.

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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