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Networking not always emphasized, but is becoming a priority in cloud setups

By Donna Donnawitz
July 30, 2012
Cloud computing, which is built on a foundation of server virtualization, depends heavily on the network to deliver large quantities of data through the web. More content is going from the data center to end users and between systems within the facility. Because of this, companies have to consider making strategic network upgrades in order to fully support their cloud computing plans.

However, many companies are still struggling to develop effective strategies for upgrading their networks in light of the cloud. In a recent ComputerWeekly report, Hewlett-Packard's Nick Watson explained that server and storage architectures have evolved considerably during the past few years. During that time, data centers have made a number of major strides forward. However, networks have not necessarily followed a similar upgrade path. to a great extent, this is because many organizations do not have a proper understanding of the network, especially in light of cloud computing's ongoing rise.

"The reason [behind the lack of innovation in data center networks] is networking has always been the least understood element of IT," Watson told ComputerWeekly. "It has been an impediment for 30 years, leaving people thinking the network wasn’t significant and, in turn, making it lagging behind. I absolutely believe the network should be considered the fundamental building block for cloud computing, as it cannot be just down to the data center."

Watson told the news source that cloud computing's ability to unify a variety of IT solutions, including mobile devices, is pushing businesses to upgrade their networks to support the anywhere, anytime access to corporate systems that typically comes when companies deploy cloud solutions.

There are many paths businesses can take to upgrade their data center, interconnect and office-based network systems to support cloud computing. However, the diverse range of software and hardware-based network upgrades can be limited if the solution is not supported by adequate cabling systems. As a result, implementing optical cable systems can help businesses derive the greatest value out of their network upgrades supporting the cloud. For companies with a limited budget, media conversion tools can prove an ideal tool because it helps engineers establish networks using both copper and fiber architectures, enabling the best possible cost-to-performance ratio.

Perle has an extensive range of Managed and Unmanaged Fiber Media Converters to extended copper-based Ethernet equipment over a fiber optic link, multimode to multimode and multimode to single mode fiber up to 160km.


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