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For most network architects, virtualization was the warning shot across the bow: Organizations shouldn’t build data center networks data networks today the way they built them even five years ago, because the fundamental building blocks of enterprise applications have changed.
But virtualization is only one of the changes persuading data center managers to abandon the traditional core-distribution-edge architecture in favor of flatter and faster models. Some of the other trends pushing new requirements on data center architects are:
Few network managers are in the position to do a rip-and-replace on their data center network. But the installation of new storage and virtualization equipment does offer the opportunity to rethink data center design rather than bolt new equipment onto old structures.
Data center networks are being rearchitected as part of a transition to the next generation of data centers, reimagining how applications and data centers are built. This change extends from the power and cooling to the servers and storage, as well as the networking. The push to rethink how networks support data centers is being driven by four key requirements:
Requirements in the data center for higher security and more distributed management and control have added to the challenge. Network management and configuration control, long decoupled from daily operations, are being pushed away from dedicated network teams and into server managers. This stems from virtual switching platforms and aggressive development and operations teams trying to get network complications out of the way of their applications.
At the same time, administrators are reconsidering security. Traditional approaches in data centers that assume a trusted status of systems are being upended. The daily news about breach after breach of “secure” applications clearly contrasts the costs of security with the much higher costs of insecurity.
This particular trend is being collectively driven by technical requirements, equipment replacement, virtualization, security and changing views of network management.
Want to learn more? Check out CDW’s Tech Insights, “Networking: Connecting the Dots.”