Intelligent Data Centres Issue 3 - Page 31

EDITOR’S QUESTION from the highly over-subscribed, hierarchical and costly legacy solutions of the past. Increased adoption of high- performance servers and applications requiring higher bandwidth is driving adoption of 10 and 25 Gigabit Ethernet switching in combination with 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet. As a result, it has become increasingly necessary to include network fabrics, software-defined networking, hyperconvergence and software defined storage technologies in the data centre. NABIL KHALIL, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, MIDDLE EAST, TURKEY AND AFRICA AT R&M he world is moving to the cloud model to achieve better agility and economy, following the lead of the cloud titans who have redefined the economics of application delivery during the last decade. Applications such as social media and Big Data, new architectures such as dense server virtualisation and IP storage, and the imperative of mobile access to all applications have placed enormous demands on the network infrastructure in data centres. T Network architectures that make the cloud possible are fundamentally different From a cabling standpoint, all this adds complexity and modernisation of the data centre promotes the need for simplicity, reliability and high-density. There are several areas to focus on to address these cabling needs. Fibre Vs. copper Today, no one asks for a slower network and while it is 10GbE that is being deployed, all new implementations are factoring in the need to include easy 40G and even 100G migration as a part of their future. And for this, higher value cabling systems such as fibre is the way forward. Fibre systems facilitate the setup of high- density cabling systems for data networks with parallel-optical connection technology. Consequently, data centres can introduce 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) or even 40 and 100 GbE as a bandwidth to connect the fastest servers and switches to each other. That being said, copper is still a good option for horizontal links (10G) and with the new Cat. 8, it will be able to provide 40G for 30 metres. So, it remains cheaper and sufficient for small distances. Density and modularity there is a real risk of networks becoming bandwidth bottlenecks. By moving from traditional low-density cabling to high- density structured cable solutions, data centres can implement physical network infrastructure in a far more manageable and flexible manner. These systems enable data centres to easily migrate to 25, 40 and 100 Gb/s networks and solve some of the most critical network challenges. Automation Automation benefits servers, storage and switches, but the cabling that interconnects it all largely remains a cumbersome, manual, error-prone management mess. For this reason, over the last several years, automated infrastructure management (AIM) has become a strategic investment for optimising resource usage and cabling documentation in data centres. AIM eliminates stranded capacity, facilitates end-to-end analysis and agile infrastructure management and aids predictive analysis and dynamic infrastructure. Not only this, these solutions vastly improve the efficiency of operation and administration and can result in reduction of downtime by 30 to 50%. As the topic of data centre modernisation is expansive, R&M has provided its unmatched expertise on data centre planning, design and implementation to organisations in our comprehensive Data Centre Handbook, the latest edition of which is available for free download from our website: DC-Handbook. HIGHER VALUE CABLING SYSTEMS SUCH AS FIBRE IS THE WAY FORWARD. With internal data centre traffic expected to grow by 80% over the next three years, Issue 03 31