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Blog Category: Data Centers

Posted by: Paul Kish on July 10, 2013

In my latest webinar, Data Center Game Changer: Understanding the Impact of Data Center Fabrics, we discussed the latest trend of implementing switch fabrics to provide low-latency and high-bandwidth east-west communication for large virtualized data centers.

During the webinar, I highlighted a recent survey by Enterprise Strategy Group where 16% of respondents indicated that they have already begun implementing flat data center fabric with another 38% planning to do so.

As confirmed by several of the questions I received following the webinar, another 36% of the survey respondents said they wanted to learn more about switch fabrics before making the decision to implement.

One of the most frequently asked questions surrounds migrating from traditional three-tier architecture to fat-tree architecture in existing data centers.

Following are a few key considerations to help you on your migration path

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Tags: Data Center, Data Center Fabrics, Fat Tree, Switch Architecture

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Blog Category: Data Centers

Posted by: on July 03, 2013

The Data Center market is rapidly evolving to meet business needs and customer demand for information anytime, anywhere and on any device.

At the same time, businesses are shifting away from focusing on the capital expenditure (CAPEX) to build a data center and instead basing decisions on total operating expenditures (OPEX) and return on investment.

In response, many Data Centers are moving to multi-tenant colocation environments and implementing cost-effective strategies like consolidation, virtualization and cloud computing. To remain agile in this evolving market while coping with flat IT and operations budgets, teams must come together and take a more holistic approach to data center design, management, construction, tier leveling, redundancy, energy efficiency and linear expandability.

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Tags: Data Center, DataCenterDynamics, Agility, Energy Efficiency

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Blog Category: Data Centers

Posted by: Paul Kish on June 26, 2013

In today's Data Centers, 12-fiber preterminated array cabling is frequently used to establish an optical path between switch tiers. Accomplishing this path in a way that matches the transmit signal (Tx) on one switch port to the corresponding receive signal (Rx) on the other switch port is referred to as polarity.

In August 2012, TIA published Addendum 2 to the ANSI/TIA 568-C.0 Generic Telecommunications Cabling for Customer Premises Standard that provides three example methods to establish polarity of optical fiber array systems—Connectivity Method A, B and C. While the standard makes no preference for one method over another, it does recommend that a method be selected in advance and maintained throughout an installation; otherwise it won't work. The TIA standard addresses both multiple duplex signals (for 10 Gigabit Ethernet or 8, 10 and 16 Gigabit Fibre Channel) and parallel signals (for 40 Gigabit Ethernet). The current migration to 40 Gigabit Ethernet warrants taking a closer look at polarity methods for both applications.

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Blog Category: Data Centers

Posted by: on June 18, 2013

In the Data Center, migration to 40 and 100-gigabit infrastructure deployment and flattened architectures are causing optical loss budgets to shrink.

Unfortunately, the loss values of many pre-terminated fiber solutions have only allowed for two mated pairs in a channel, which has limited the ability to deploy manageable, scalable and secure networks.

In fact, the current insertion loss of 0.75 dB per mated pair defined by TIA allows for just one mated pair in both 10- and 40-GbE fiber channels. Thankfully, new low-loss solutions allow Data Center managers to get back to the fundamental best practice of deploying multiple connection points that provide convenient cross-connects and zone distribution areas (ZDAs) to improve manageability, scalability and security.

How many connection points is optimum? Let’s take a look.

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Blog Category: Data Centers

Posted by: Paul Kish on June 12, 2013

Data center network design has been undergoing rapid changes with the adoption of technologies such as server virtualization. As a result, data center traffic is changing from predominantly north-south (i.e., into and out of the data center) to east-west (i.e., server-to-server within the data center).

A traditional three-tier switching architecture using core, aggregation and access switches is not ideal for large, virtualized data centers. For one server to communicate with another, the data may need to traverse north from an access switch along a hierarchical path through aggregation switches and a core switch and then south again through more switches before reaching the other server.

In other words, the data has to go through more “hops” as it moves from switch to switch. This adds latency, which can ultimately create traffic bottlenecks—something every data center manager strives to avoid.

Data center switch fabrics that typically use only one or two tiers of switches are now widely viewed as the optimal architectures to enable east-west traffic. These flattened architectures provide low-latency and high-bandwidth communications between any two points to meet the needs of virtualized networks and ever-increasing application and traffic load.

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Tags: Data Center, Data Center Fabrics, Data Center Maze, Webinar, Fat Tree

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Blog Category: Data Centers

Posted by: Michelle Foster on June 05, 2013

While it's never easy to predict the future, it's even more difficult when the pace of change is constantly accelerating. With data centers needing to support increased bandwidth demands, growing energy costs and the movement toward virtualization and cloud, it's more apparent than ever that the data center of tomorrow will be vastly different than the data center of today.

Data center managers need to be more than just suppliers of space, power and cooling. They need to be proactive managers of data center resources. It's not enough to simply react to issues as they arise. IT directors and managers must anticipate problems before they happen and find a fix before it disrupts the entire enterprise.

That's why we've launched a new section to Belden's blog, dedicated to the data center. We know change happens fast, and we recognize that today's industry standards will not be enough to keep up with the demands of the future.

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Tags: Data Center, Trends, Agility, Blog, Leadership

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Blog Category: Data Centers

Posted by: on June 05, 2013

Within the last minute there were 204 million emails sent, 20 million photos viewed, 100 thousand Tweets, 277 thousand Facebook logins and more than 2 million Google searches. With those statistics it's no wonder that 90% of the world's data has been created in the last two years alone. And all of this data—whether text, audio, video, click streams, log files or sensor data—is what is referred to as "big data."

According to a recent Gartner study, 42% of IT leaders are investing in big data projects, or plan to do so this year. While the analysis of big data presents a host of opportunities, from increased operational efficiency to new revenue streams, the Data Center is responsible for carrying this additional load—and a light load it is not! As demand for instantaneous data (anytime, anywhere and from any device) continues to grow, the Data Center must adapt—this is the new normal. Here are a few Data Center challenges driving the need for advanced cabling topologies and pre-terminated cabling solutions specifically.

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Blog Category: Data Centers

Posted by: on June 05, 2013

Whether upgrading a Data Center or building one from scratch, Data Center managers typically have two main considerations on their mind—cost and reliability. However, there is a lot more to the puzzle, and it starts with the acceptance of an often overlooked fact: A Data Center built only for the requirements of today can be a Data Center destined to fail in the future.

A Data Center cannot just serve existing needs—it has to meet the projected demands for the future. Unfortunately, upgrades have often been completed with a short-sighted “fix it” mentality where Data Center managers strive to just fill in gaps without a true 360-degree perspective. Cost has often been measured by how much it will take to implement a solution, rather than how much it will take to operate and its total effect on the facility. For example, Data Center managers often narrowly focus on the long-term benefit of a solution (and probably some hype), rather than asking themselves what the new solution will cost to run on a daily basis, if it truly offers a return on investment (ROI), whether ramp-up time is required for employees and how exactly a solution fits within the long-term goals of the business.

The good news is that Data Center managers can move from a "fix it" to a "build it" mentality through holistic design principles.

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Tags: Data Center, Holistic Design, Trends, Redundancy, Agility, Modularity, TCO, DCIM, Energy Efficiency

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