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Blogging for the Data Center of Tomorrow
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.


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

Move from “Fix it” to “Build it” with Holistic Data Center Design
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.


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

Data Center Game-Changer: How Will You Be Impacted by Data Center Fabrics?
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.


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

What’s Hot & What’s Not at DatacenterDynamics
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.


Tags: Data Center, DataCenterDynamics, Agility, Energy Efficiency

Migrating to the Fat Tree
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


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

Is that a Mandrel on my Back, or Do I have a Case of Encircled Flux?
Blog Category: Data Centers

Posted by: on July 16, 2013

I am always surprised to find out how many field technicians have never heard of mandrels for multimode fiber testing, much less the latest encircled flux method.

No, a mandrel is not a type of monkey—that’s a mandrill, a primate from Africa that’s closely related to the baboon. And encircled flux is not something that will put you in the hospital—that’s inflammatory flux, a nasty disease of the intestines.

However, with the lack of knowledge, some technicians working in the data center space might feel like they do in fact have a monkey on their back or a bad case of intestinal flu when confronted with these two fiber testing methods.

Not to worry… you just need to know the basics.


Tags: Data Center, Fiber Testing, Mandrel, Encirlced Flux, TIA, Standards

Understanding the Latest "…izations" of Data Center Design
Blog Category: Data Centers

Posted by: on July 23, 2013

By now, we all understand the term “virtualization” in reference to server environments in the data center, but there are some new “…izations” being thrown around that deserve a closer look. The terms “standardization,” “modularization” and “industrialization” are some of the recent buzz words being used to describe effective data center design, and often these terms are used interchangeably with little knowledge of what they actually mean and how they work together for effective holistic data center design. Let’s take a closer look at these three “…izations” of data center design.


Tags: Data Center, Data Center Ready, Modularity, Standardization, Industrialization

Cloud Computing—Adopters, Promises and Considerations
Blog Category: Data Centers

Posted by: on July 30, 2013

With Cisco forecasting a 20% annual growth rate for cloud computing adoption through 2016, and Gartner predicting 80% adoption by 2022, those who don’t yet have their heads in the cloud might be wondering who these adopters are and if cloud computing is right for you.

Early adopters of cloud computing are the federal government and large chain retail companies with some pharmaceutical, high-tech and scientific entities adopting a hybrid approach whereby they use cloud computing for non-critical applications such as prescription fulfillment and email.


Tags: Cloud Computing, Cloud Adoption, Data Center

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