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The right network strategies can ease complexities created by the cloud

By Donna Donnawitz
December 19, 2011
Data center operators are currently facing some major problems. While they need to deploy virtualization and cloud computing infrastructure to keep up with customer demands, their networks are hardly able to handle the amount of data traveling between servers and out to end users. A recent Data Center Knowledge report said management strategies are emerging that ease the complexity of network systems that support the cloud.

One such measure, according to the news source, is to consolidate cables and ports on servers and other infrastructure. As servers are virtualized, a physical machine can be equipped to contain multiple VMs, each operating as if it were an autonomous system. Because of this, a server that may have only needed a single network port may require a port for each virtual machine. The cabling and port infrastructure required to support this measure can be overwhelming. However, investing in a smaller number of high-performance cabling and port solutions can enable converged infrastructure, improving efficiency and easing management burdens, the report said.

Another way to reduce complexity is to flatten Ethernet architectures. According to Data Center Knowledge, Ethernet, storage and data network transit systems can be united into a single flattened network layer. This dramatically reduces overhead by streamlining data transit between servers, which is becoming more prevalent in light of the cloud.

Embracing quality of service can also help organizations make the most out of their network infrastructure, especially when dealing with multi-tenant environments, the report said. At their core, quality service systems allow businesses to prioritize traffic within the network, maximize their bandwidth and avoid dropped data packets. These benefits are absolutely essential when operating in the cloud, as performance hiccups can be detrimental to application delivery and performance.

Making networking upgrades in the data center is essential to supporting cloud computing investments. However, the cloud also creates complexities that drive electricity use to unsustainable levels. As a result, many operators are upgrading their networks and general architectures in light of the cloud.

Console servers can pay major dividends in this area, as they give managers increased control over the facility and unlock remote management capabilities that are integral to operating environmental efficiency. Effectively deploying console server infrastructure can be integral to supporting green IT initiatives in the data center.


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