Network Evolution Key to Driving Cloud Expansion

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Bigger, better connected data centers

Data center facilities change constantly. First, major corporations with their own equipment needed to expand data center footprints to house an increasing number of large servers, storage, networking, printers, and other peripherals. As these devices dramatically shrunk in size to fit into dense racks, power utilization and cooling quickly became the dominant design criteria. Additional key drivers of facility location change include real estate costs and cost-effective access to high-speed optical networks.

Small and medium-sized businesses typically only have a few racks of equipment located in a small room or closet. These companies need a data center partner for backup and recovery, and increasingly utilize cloud resources for their variable workload requirements.

Consumers also drive the need for new data center designs. IDC calls it the "3rd Platform," consisting of: cloud, social media, mobile broadband, and Big Data. Consumers expect on-demand access to video and other media flowing over the network from mega-sized data centers at Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Facebook. This massive amount of content moves both to consumers and among data centers to balance workloads and reduce content delivery latency.

Increasing consumer demand and data center requirements for businesses of all sizes continue to drive cloud and data center infrastructure builds.

During the early 1990s, visitors to a trade show clicked on a hyperlink and used the Internet to connect to over 600 servers. It was called the World Wide Web and stunned the users with the simplicity of the operation and how easy it was to get information. Of course, today we can connect to more than 690 million servers, and the Web is woven into the very fabric of our lives. It was the dawn of a new era in technology.

Which of today's technologies are now similarly positioned to revolutionize our work and interactions? Cloud computing is signaling that we are again at the dawn of a new era, and the network will drive the way we use the cloud in much the same way as the browser transformed the Internet.

Today the cloud is bound by the network. To truly realize the full potential of cloud computing, network connectivity must be as accessible and user-friendly as the Web made the Internet. In this slideshow, network specialists from Ciena take a closer look at the networking elements that are driving a new era of cloud computing.


Related Topics : IBM Looks to Redefine Industry Standard Servers, APC, Brocade, Citrix Systems, Data Center

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