Data centers have become increasingly crucial in supporting the daily operations of every organization around the globe today. Data centers like Datasite Colo typically comprises hardware, software, and the necessary data needed for day-to-day operations of any organization but it also has networking resources, which are vital in enhancing the functionality of any data center.
Therefore, data center networking is the fusion of different networking resources like routers, cables, servers, switches, and workload balancing to allow proper storage and processing of applications and data within the center. Technological advancements have elevated data center networking management with most modern data centers utilizing full-stacking networking and security virtualization approaches. This approach has immensely contributed to connectivity to a rich set of data services.
What is Data Center Networking?
Here are the tenets of data center networking;
There are a lot of different components which make up the design of a data center but cabling is the most important part of the data center networking architecture.
Cabling is a way of putting the networks into use to derive the intended value. It is important because wrong deployments of cables can be disastrous to the center, to say the least.
Poor cabling can result in overheating and blockage of cooling airflow and this can lead to prolonged downtime and huge losses subsequently. Cabling strategies have changed over the years from; beneath an elevated floor cabling, to overhead cabling, and now the most preferred option; structured cabling.
Despite structured cabling being expensive in the initial stages because it follows a well-defined structure and labeling to enhance the establishment of connection points and pathways; it is highly reliable and durable in the long run.
When users in an organization can’t effectively connect to their network and access the resources they need for daily operations, it is a loss to the organization. The success of any data center networking architecture is in its strategies in providing reliable network redundancy solutions and have well-structured mechanisms to constantly test and review network infrastructure in place.
The following two redundancy approaches help to ensure that a back-up plan is there for the hardware and servers in case of any mishap with the primary system, the network will still be able to go back to normal with less to no interference at all. Therefore, having multiple connectivity points is strategic to any data center networking efforts.
Servers and Server Performance
The build-up and the design of the entire data center networking infrastructure are in such a way that they should be able to improve server performance. Servers are an important element of data center networking architecture, used in the storage of valuable data and provision of processing power for different computing workloads within the data center.
Seamless connectivity of servers to the network allows easy access of the needed data and reduction of downtime. However, to have such high-density server deployments means that an extra cost in cooling, cabling structure, and power to enhance the effectiveness of the servers in a high-density model data center.
Routers and Switches
Routers play a significant role in the data center networking architecture. They analyze data traffic and requests and direct them accordingly. Data can easily travel from one point to another correctly without any error when routers have been accurately configured.
Edge routers are meant to receive and evaluate incoming data from a public internet source and establish the destination of each packet separately. The next step goes to the core routers which now receive such packets from the edge routers. Core routers manage data traffic within the data center networking architecture and are referred to as core switches.
Core switches or core routers facilitate the movement of data within the network; core routers are designed with high-speed interfaces to allow the movement of traffic fast within the network. This type of routers can be utilized in the data center networking architecture for bandwidth and increased speed.
Importance of Data Center Networking
Modern data center networks allow connection to the servers and access of crucial data in an organization. Such access is key to business operations success and daily services to clients. However, a good network should be able to constantly evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of users and applications.
Automation is also important for any modern data center networking, this provides ways to adopt new and advanced technologies in data management and networking fields. For this reason, most data centers have shifted to software data-driven centers to allow adaptability to the organizational data needs and the needs of their users.
It is crucial to have consistent and flexible policies when it comes to data center networking architecture because this allows an easy and less costly transition to better networking strategies to gain value from the organization’s data center networking investments.
Data Center Networking Issues
Lack of effective and reliable connectivity redundancy strategies can be a real issue in networking. However, the issue of cyber-attacks cannot be overlooked, since it is a real problem for many data centers across the world.
Thankfully, with the advancements made in data center networking over the years, micro-segmentation has seemed to be a much important approach to enhancing the strength of security policies within a network.
Micro-segmentation is a technique used by network security experts in dividing the data center into different specific security segments, all the way to the workload level. This approach allows security architects to design specific security protocols for different segments, subsequently reducing the vulnerability of the network. Assigning different security policies to individual workloads limits the attacker’s ability to move freely within the network.
Data center networking is an important piece of data center management. Poorly designed networking architecture limits organizational efforts of effectively executing their daily operations, let alone implementing any plans to scale up. Organizational data needs influence the size of the bandwidth, speed and subsequently informs the design of data center networking architecture suitable for such an organization.