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Data centre networking: Five considerations

A transformed data centre network creates a simplified environment and helps to realise significant operational cost savings through automation

Keeping pace with the increasing complexity of networks and data centres is an ongoing challenge. You need to provide a consistent, reliable infrastructure that allows your business to be competitive, agile, and responsive. Yet, more devices are brought into your environment, running more applications and requiring greater speed. You also face challenges such as constant application changes, hyper convergence, mobility, the Internet of Things, and cloud.

Keeping pace with the increasing complexity of networks and data centres is an ongoing challenge

So how can you prepare your organisation for these application changes?

A transformed data centre network creates a simplified environment and helps to realise significant operational cost savings through automation. It can deliver traffic more efficiently, improve security, and streamline application delivery that provides for a better user experience. What do organisations need to keep in mind when they’re transforming their data centre networks to achieve such ambitious goals? Try these five considerations when transforming your data centre network to better respond to business

Transformed data centre network creates a simplified environment with significant cost savings

  1. Applications are key

Your business operations don’t run on hardware alone. The networks, servers, and storage are all there to support the applications which power your business. With applications becoming more fragmented and running across multiple and separated pieces of hardware or virtualised infrastructure, the network connecting them needs to become far more flexible. Applications are now living, breathing things that expand and contract automatically, and the data centre network should support that.

  1. Data growth is inevitable

Data growth doesn’t apply to data use by applications and data storage only, but also to network traffic. While the implications of increased data on the network are often not taken into consideration, normal network growth in the data centre is being driven even more by the consolidation and centralisation of IT infrastructures. With up to 60% growth per year in the amount of traffic flowing into the data centre network, it’s critical to look for ways to manage this data explosion, the growth of which isn’t going to drop off any time soon. We believe the current level of data growth will be the standard in the next decade. The nature of applications, computers, and virtualisation will simply exacerbate the problem over time.

  1. There will always be opportunities to automate

The nature of modern data centres means that many systems and applications running on top of data centre networks are becoming more automated. Virtual machines now have the ability to automatically provision themselves to scale up or down and to move around the environment, while many data centre operational functions, like backups, have been automated. There’s a unique opportunity to examine the network and automate as much of it as possible, in order to more closely align the automated ability of its workload and the applications with other data centre infrastructures.

  1. Network services can help

Turning to a managed services provider that can assist with technology-related services as well as network management services will ensure that you get appropriate support for all of your existing infrastructure. When running and operating a data centre, it’s crucial to make sure the network is as supported as the rest of your infrastructure. As the foundation of the data centre, any weakness can result in a total data centre collapse, if it’s not managed and maintained properly.

A managed network services partner must be able to offer you a complete managed service that covers the management of servers, storage, and the network. If you have a fantastic managed service for the data centre, but it doesn’t cover the network, this may result in an inordinate amount of downtime or outages.

5. User experience is critical

A disappointing user experience can affect productivity, which in turn costs you money. Therefore, it’s important that your network gets the applications to wherever they need to be, timeously and efficiently. This means it’s absolutely critical that application delivery technologies are in place to accelerate the traffic as it leaves the data centre to give users a positive user experience, irrespective of where they are or what device they’re connecting from.

We can help you transform your data centre network by modernising your technology, automating your operations, and reviewing and adjusting your financial and consumption models. ​​ Read find out more about what data centre networking can do for your organisation by clicking here.

Brent Angus

Brent is the General Manager for the Networking Business Unit, Dimension Data Asia Pacific