Revolution by evolution: building next-gen Mid-East data centres

Brocade outlines a methodology for sound, cost-effective architecture

Tags: Brocade Communications Systems Incorporation
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Revolution by evolution: building next-gen Mid-East data centres Yarob Sakhnini, regional director, MEMA at Brocade Communications.
By  Yarob Sakhnini Published  April 2, 2014

The pace of business is faster than ever, and it is only going to accelerate. Today's businesses in the Middle East therefore require data centres that can work at the same rapid speed: deploying new applications quickly and efficiently, providing fast and reliable data access 24/7 and meeting or exceeding stringent service levels with zero downtime. All while maximising return on investment by reducing costs.

Cloud computing and virtualisation are critical when it comes to IT services successfully matching the ever-increasing pace of business.  However, for these benefits to be realised the underlying data centre architecture will need to evolve significantly. According to a recent survey by Brocade, over 91% of IT decision-makers stated that their current IT infrastructures are ill-equipped to meet the ever-changing and unique networking requirements created by virtualisation and cloud computing.

Any high-level data centre architecture should help to reduce operating costs. A sound architecture that delivers greater reliability over time will nearly always work out cheaper in the long term. So, how can IT departments make sure that their network architecture has what it takes to support the business, not just now, but over the long-term?

Start with the target design

The first step is to decide how you want your data centre to look in the future. You need to select the extent and scope of LAN/SAN convergence, the number of layers within each network, and the number of switching tiers in each layer.

In order to do this there are five questions about your ideal model that need to be answered to make sure that all of your future investments bring you closer to that goal: How do you connect physical servers together and to the rest of the network? Will there be an aggregation layer on the LAN or will large virtual servers connect directly into a high-port-count collapsed access/aggregation layer? Do you want to be locked into one orchestration tool and hypervisor vendor or will you select different solutions to meet differing needs for separate applications and departments? Will you be able to continue using any of your existing equipment in that design? And if not, why not?

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