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What to do when your data center escapes its walls

By Donna Donnawitz
September 27, 2012
The data center without walls movement has emerged as a rising trend in the enterprise sector. Basically, it is what it sounds like - soon, your data center will not be confined to its traditional walls anymore. This can contribute to incredible efficiency and productivity gains, but also create management and networking nightmares. Effective response to these challenges can unlock incredible opportunities, while failure to adapt can limit a company's capacity for innovation moving forward.

Breaking down the walls
The walls of the data center are resilient and difficult to break down. This is the nature of the facility. Think about it - the average data center needs to be secured in such a way that nobody without authorization can get in and no data can get out unless it is accessed by people with permission. Data centers are jails for computing equipment. Perhaps treasure chests are the more appropriate analogy, as data is the gold that thieves want to steal.

But colocation services, cloud computing and other third-party data center solutions are combining to create an environment in which there are few systems left that you actually need to keep within your company's private data center.

Because of this, your data center no longer has walls. You may have some servers and critical systems in the facility, but part of your data center is in the cloud, part of it is at a colocation facility and some services are handled by a managed hosting provider. The walls have been broken down.

What this means for the network
When you only had one corporate data center, or even a few private facilities that worked in conjunction with one another, you had a well-controlled, common network link that ran into corporate headquarters and linked with the LAN and WAN infrastructure. This is gone. You now need to build the network to handle more internal links, meaning you probably need some services built on optical networks and fiber to Ethernet media converters.

What this means for management
For your IT team, the data center without walls is chaos. Suddenly you have resources in a bunch of geographically diverse facilities that have to be managed effectively. This is where console server systems come in handy. Console management allows for remote data center management, bringing some sense of order once the data center walls are knocked down.

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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