How the Network Now Defines the Data Center

2015-02-27 02:52:48

Within today’s modern data center and when it comes to the strategic importance and business value of the data center network, there is actually a pretty big disconnect. Even with momentum building behind the software-driven data center (SDDC) and software-driven services, applications and networks are often ships in the night. In many cases they are designed, built, deployed, and managed separately, as discrete entities. And there is still considerable inertia when it comes to modernizing the capabilities of the data center network.


The result is a lack of flexibility. All too often the data center network cannot easily scale to accommodate growth, cannot handle new types of traffic and workloads, cannot take advantage of cloud automation and orchestration opportunities, cannot move large volumes of data, and so on.

This white paper from Copper River IT takes a closer look at the importance of overcoming the inertia and moving to an agile, high-performance, next generation data center (NGDC) network, along with the three key areas that need to be addressed: the data center interconnect (DCI), cloud connectivity, and building cloudaware networks.


By making the move to a modern, agile data center network—one that provides optimized cloud orchestration and bi-sectional bandwidth combined with WAN network integration—enterprises and service providers can achieve multiple benefits, including the ability to:


?Deploy applications in near-real-time
?Try more new ideas faster
?Survive disasters with less expense
?Model changes in real time
?Offer more high-bandwidth applications and services
?Mashup services across larger metro areas
?Reduce CapEx
?Extract more value from commoditized network services
?Harvest the benefits of NFV


Many organizations are now building powerful cloud-aware networks. IT service providers spend hundreds of billions of dollars per year connecting data center systems, devices, networks, applications, and data to the cloud. To maximize this investment, it is critical to implement cloud-aware networks that adhere to open standards. This will reduce the cost and complexity of having a network that needs to scale with and map to software resources it doesn’t integrate with.


For example, Juniper’s Contrail, an open-source, proactive overlay SDN solution, works with existing network devices and helps address the networking challenges for self-service, automated, and vertically integrated cloud architectures. Contrail also helps improve scalability and CapEx inefficiencies through an overlay virtual network. All of the networking features such as switching, routing, security, and load balancing are moved from the physical hardware infrastructure to software running in the hypervisor kernel that is managed from a central orchestration system.


To consumers of IT services and to the business itself, nothing is more important than the agility, performance, scalability, and availability of the data center network. Thus, from a strategic perspective, nothing is more important than ensuring that the data center network fully delivers on these requirements.