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How to Flatten your Data Center Network

flatten network resized 600Some technological advances can really shake the data center to the core. 10 Gigabit Ethernet has been one of those technologies. The tiered network that has been so prevalent in data centers for the past decade is being questioned, and it comes up wanting. Enterprises are moving more toward a virtualized and converged infrastructure. Data center networks are becoming, decidedly, much flatter things.

Still, some of the push for a flatter network isn’t coming from end users. It’s coming from vendors. Folks like HP and others are pushing hard to have a flat network. There are a number of reasons for this, not the least of which is that, if data centers need to replace all of their switches, it opens up all sorts of opportunities for them to gain some of the networking infrastructure from Cisco.

The trick from the data center perspective, of course, is being able to implement products that are purpose-built to support virtualization, automation and convergence. Implementing these kinds of solutions will streamline the data center’s operations, to say nothing of what it will do for their expenses.

There is a sense in which flattening the data center is coming at just the right time. The structure of data centers is changing, and so is their mission. That creates a wonderful opportunity to reexamine the infrastructure and to latten the network.

Data center managers would do well to be thorough and methodical in how they go about flattening the data center network, however. Flattening the network is not enough. That flattening process has to result in measureable service increases, such as a greater speed in inter-processor communications. If you don’t look at the entire data chain, you can wind up putting way too much time, energy and capital into the wrong kind of a solution.

Whether or not to flatten the data center network and what form that flattening should take comes down to an analysis of price and performance. In some ways, it doesn’t matter how many tiers a data center has if there’s not a specific and measurable return on investment.

Click here to download the IDC whitepaper:

Infrastructure Convergence: The Integration of Technology to Lower Cost and Improve Business Response

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Unitiv, Inc., is a professional provider of enterprise IT solutions. Unitiv delivers its services from its headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, USA, and its regional office in Iselin, New Jersey, USA. Unitiv provides a strategic approach to its service delivery, focusing on three core components: People, Products, and Processes. The People to advise and support customers. The Products to design and build solutions. The Processes to govern and manage post-implementation operations.