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Automate Your Data Center by Virtualizing Your Network

Highlights

  • Automate virtualized workloads
  • Reduce operational complexity and TCO
  • Support application enablement
  • Manage application proliferation
  • Scale easily according to business requirements

Current Analysis rates ALE AFN Technology
Data centers have become the cornerstone of business. To support them, a network must be agile, automated and virtualized. It must deliver on-demand access and provide support to various new devices, applications, and content on an ever-shrinking budget.

The problem is, most mid-sized to large enterprise networks can’t handle the dramatic increase in IP traffic that these events have created. It has become increasingly difficult to provide a high quality user experience with real-time applications while reducing costs.

Odds are, your network hasn’t kept up with the traffic and changes either.

Related story: New Intelligent Fabric technology wins 2015 Best of Interop Award in networking category.  Learn more.

The answer lies in transforming the network to support these changes. The result, if the transformation is done right, will reduce your network’s total cost of operation while providing customers and employees with the experience they expect.

Virtualization allows your company to move closer to being able to enable any service, content or application, for all users, no matter the device or where they are located. And, by being standards-based, interoperability can be achieved without requiring a forklift upgrade to existing equipment. The data center evolution and transformation is critical for enabling these goals.

Automation and consolidation in the data center

Server virtualization, as well as desktop virtualization, has enabled rapid application deployment and increased the movement of applications between virtualized servers as well as data centers. Legacy multi-tier hierarchical network and manual machine movement have become unsustainable and are not designed to handle this level of change.

The number of physical servers is being reduced by consolidation, while more bandwidth is required as ports move from 1GigE to 10GigE or even 40Gig. If more bandwidth and other innovations are not provided, poor application performance and latency will result. By automating and deploying advanced technology, most of these problems can be addressed while also lowering costs through reduced power and cooling requirements and fewer demands for manual IT services.

Innovative new data center fabrics cost-effectively serve enterprises of all sizes with flexible, scalable, highly resilient compact mesh/pod pay-as-you-grow architecture. Through automation, new requirements placed on the network by virtualized workloads are addressed by reducing operational complexity. Deployment models include virtual data centers, multi-site private clouds and hybrid clouds.

Address application proliferation

As the number of applications in use grows, so does the demand on the network, with increased movement of applications between servers or between data centers. The network needs to have cohesive visibility and management across multiple data center sites. It also needs to be able to support multi-modal communications ranging from IM to video. And the network needs to be able to deliver video everywhere, not just to a confined, dedicated room. Users expect to be able to change media within the same conversation and you need to address it.

Virtual application movement and other activities, such as poor application performance or even network failure, require an automated response to ensure they are promptly addressed in a cost-effective manner. Since bandwidth is not unlimited, the ability to prioritize and implement a quality of service (QoS) capability is mandatory to ensure continuity of multi-modal calls and provide appropriate levels of service depending on other activity in the network.

A user’s quality of experience (QoE) is important. An enterprise network that has an application fluent network infrastructure is able to accommodate new applications while maintaining existing business processes. It is accomplished through a unified architecture that integrates all the elements onto a single platform that can then be deployed in a physical or virtual environment, on premises, in the cloud, or any hybrid of these.

What’s next?

Alcatel-Lucent offers an Application Fluent Network that is built on a resilient architecture, streamlined operations, and automatic control. These capabilities contribute to a superior user experience, improved workflow, lower network administration costs and a higher return on investment.

With an Application Fluent Network, enterprises enjoy a network that understands devices as well as associated applications. Contextual understanding of conversations between devices and applications makes it possible for the network to optimize the user experience and network performance, while lowering capital and operating expenses.
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Related information: “Very Strong” is again the assessment from Current Analysis in 2015 of the Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise Data Center Switching Infrastructure. Read why Current Analysis has rated the ALE data center switching solutions ahead of the industry class since their introduction of Application Fluent Networks in 2010.