Brocade Fibre Channel Networking Community

Technology is Evolving Rapidly; Can You Afford to Get Left Behind?

By Michelle Lemieux-Dimas posted 11-06-2019 09:00 AM

  
You’re paying a premium for flash; you want to get the full performance out of it. So why are you running it on legacy infrastructure that limits its performance?
Technology all around us is evolving at an incredible rate. How do we possibly keep up? Remember when the first smartphone came out with only 16 GB and a 2-megapixel camera? They were built with little storage because who would need more storage when you just used it for internet, texting and phone calls. But innovation has demanded more and more from smartphones. We are constantly wanting more storage, memory and even a better camera to take advantage of the never-ending apps, games, streaming, incredible photography, etc… that developers keep evolving phones to do.

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With this in mind, you would never buy a smartphone if it wasn’t going to last you. At the base level, you would want to know what kind of memory, space, and power you’re getting, and that’s before all the additional features and functionality, like camera, operating system and software innovations. You would also want it to be futureproofed for new and evolving technologies like virtual reality (VR), gaming, streaming and 5G.

This is not unlike your data center needs. Storage technology used to evolve at a snail’s pace, but data center innovation cycles are getting shorter and shorter. Nowadays, storage technology is evolving every 18 to 24 months. That’s great news for your business potential, but not great news if you’re being hindered by legacy infrastructure.

Remember when smartphones used to struggle to download updates and provide a smooth, lag-free user experience? Now imagine that with your data center.
A high performing network is crucial if you want to meet the demands of today, let alone in a year’s time. And let’s be clear; we’re not just talking bandwidth here. Performance isn’t just about how fast your network runs, it’s about maintaining a balance between bandwidth, IOPS and latency. And beyond speed, you need capabilities that will help you make managing and troubleshooting easier.

NVMe will make every network look bad
As storage devices become lower in latency, as the need to scale the storage environment grows, and as more flash storage is added into environments with faster NVMe speed, the network’s performance (or lack of it) becomes more visible. It’s also an inescapable fact that AI and machine learning are set to become as ubiquitous as smartphones. What this means for the data center is that innovative applications will quickly begin generating new demands on your network, as well as a ton of new data. And we all know that if you’re going to put big, CPU-hungry apps on your phone and run them all at once, you’d better have the capacity to do it, or you’ll soon run into lags or even see your phone come to a halt. The same applies in the data center. Legacy infrastructure was not designed to support the performance requirements of evolving workloads and flash-based storage technology. In fact, an aging network will impede the performance of an all-flash data center.

Why does infrastructure matter?
Let’s get real. If you have an all-singing, all-dancing smartphone, would you only use it to call your mom each Sunday? Of course not. You bought it for that stunning camera that replaces your DSLR, the lightning-fast UI, awesome battery life and the power to run games and VR. You bought it to simplify and enhance your social and work life. Would you get that from a phone from the early-2000s? No.
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If you want to harness the full potential of new storage technologies like flash and NVMe, you need to deploy a network that’s able to keep up. A modern storage network that can keep pace with innovations in compute and storage resources, enable databases, virtual servers, desktops, and critical applications, and unlock the full capabilities of flash is required. By modernizing the storage network, organizations will be able to maximize productivity and increase the efficiency of their storage investments, even as they rapidly scale their environments.

Don’t get left behind. It’s time to upgrade.

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In November, the last Brocade 8 Gb/s product lines will reach end of support. In addition to the obvious compliance and downtime risks of having unsupported products in your data center, running new technologies like flash and NVMe on aging infrastructures is a bit like running iOS 10 on an iPhone 4 – it’s going to cause bottlenecks and slowdowns.

By upgrading to Brocade Gen 6 (32 Gb/s) Fibre Channel, you not only minimize your risk of downtime today, but you’ll be more than equipped to deal with the surge in data and applications that are coming down the pipe. With built-in support for NVMe and if you buy the Director, a fast pass to Gen 7 when it arrives, there will be nothing stopping you. Plus, you’ll also enjoy new automation and diagnostics capabilities.

Get ready for a blazing fast network
Change is coming, and it’s coming fast. Don’t let your aging infrastructure put your competitive edge at risk. If you want a reliable environment with the lowest latency, that’s ready for right now, and for the future... Brocade Gen 6 will deliver it.

Want to learn more?

Check out more useful information at www.Broadcom.com/modernize-your-san

Are you asking why upgrade? Download this quick read to find out why. “4 reasons to modernize your data center that you can’t afford to ignore
Missed the “Is it Time to Upgrade Your Network?” webinar? Watch it on demand.

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11-06-2019 03:48 PM

A lot of good reminders in this article for IT Infrastructure professionals. Nice job Michelle.