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Networking and efficiency intertwined in the data center

By Max Burkhalter
February 8, 2012
Networks are changing fast, regardless of their purpose, as data throughput rates are rising at a pace that cannot be sustained with most current hardware setups. This is especially evident in the data center, where cloud computing and virtualization have simultaneously changed the way networks need to operate and generated higher bandwidth requirements. At the same time, the cloud and virtual infrastructure have combined to create even more efficiency issues in data centers, as they often create complexity on both hardware and software levels.

According to a recent Data Center Knowledge report, the relationship between networking and efficiency are now becoming aligned in the data center because both issues are such pressing needs in the industry. Between the rising need for networking upgrades and the necessity of improving efficiency, data center operators need to find a way to align all aspects of operations to encourage sustainability. This is creating an environment in which network upgrades need to be carefully planned alongside efficiency initiatives and even facility-related strategies. The older silo-based models of development are no longer valid.

Furthermore, the way that networking upgrades need to be made has changed in response to sustainability goals. Citing a recent study from Forrester Research, the news source explained that the rack is quickly becoming the largest efficiency bottleneck in most data centers. The problem is that virtualization and cloud computing increase server utilization rates while also making communication between servers more important. In response, more hardware is needed on the rack to keep operations afloat. This reduces airflow, making it more difficult to cool equipment properly and potentially inflating related energy expenses.

To align sustainability with networking, the report said organizations need to deploy high-density appliances that are capable of supporting multiple ports and other similar capabilities that reduce the amount of physical hardware needed to meet connectivity requirements.

As businesses work to align networking upgrades with sustainability goals, they may want to invest in console server infrastructure. With such a setup, the network can be used in conjunction with monitoring devices to carefully track environmental and hardware conditions throughout the facility. The console server then provides the foundation needed to control facility-related conditions from a central management platform or remote devices.

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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