In the two former parts of my blog series, I shed light on the key trends impacting the next-generation data center, including consolidation and virtualization. In this post, I’d like to complete the full picture and talk about the rest of the trends – connectivity, convergence and green IT. So here we go:
Connectivity – Data center connectivity is constantly changing. Mainly driven from the core switches and database connectivity, today’s next-generation switches connect both application and storage by leveraging modern technologies such as 10GE to 40GE Ethernet ports, Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) and unified ports. From an ADC viewpoint, it means that the ADC must support these connectivity methods to address both today and tomorrow’s switches, mainly from an Ethernet standpoint, while imposing minimal hardware replacements projects. So today’s ADC must be equipped with high-speed ports – 10GE and even 40GE – to support next-generation connectivity, while also supporting the current, popular 1GE switch and server ports.
Convergence – Today’s enterprises use more and more unified communicators (UC) services such as instant messaging, presence, VoIP and teleconference – all based on the IP infrastructure. Just as web applications need to be highly available and fast performing, these UC services (most of them based on SIP – Session Initiation Protocol, as well as VoLTE – voice over LTE in 4G core mobile networks) must also be resilient and available 24/7. From a network viewpoint, the data center is converging as it now runs different protocols – TCP, UDP, SIP, SSL, TLS and more. This means that the ADC must be able to load balance and accelerate these protocols and provide a breadth of functionality for these types of services.
Green IT – Green IT is the most “economic” trend out there. Already a major movement for a couple of years, it still stands out, specifically for cost-conscious customers. In fact, green IT has a very wide scope and it has to do with the entire cost structure of the data center – labor/personnel cost, equipment cost, operational cost, real estate cost and more. From an ADC viewpoint, the relevant costs are equipment cost (CAPEX) and operational cost (OPEX). It is essential that a next-generation ADC will reduce as much as possible from its derived CAPEX and OPEX. Let’s see how.
From a CAPEX perspective, buying a competitively priced ADC is nice, but it is certainly not enough. The key is to minimize – even eliminate when possible – the number of ADC forklift upgrades to reduce the cost of an associated replacement project that extends to configuration, training, spare parts, testing, moving to production and more, each imposing effort and risk besides the cost. So standardizing an “on demand” scalable platform that can grow its capacity as the business requirements grow is a must. From an OPEX perspective, in terms of power consumption and heat dissipation, the ADC should be an energy-efficient one. These will dramatically reduce the electricity and cooling costs that make up a large portion of the on-going data center expenditures. Last but not least, the ADC should also be packaged in a small form factor; for example, a next-generation ADC that can scale up to 16Gbps fits only 1U rack space – which provides great cost/performance within a very small amount of real estate.
To summarize, in my three-part blog series we’ve examined the key trends affecting the next-generation data center including data center consolidation, virtualization, connectivity, convergence and green IT – and we’ve discussed what they imply for application delivery viewpoint.
Until next time, leave any questions or insights in the comments section to continue the conversation.