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Fibre Channel (SAN)

Posts: 4
Registered: ‎03-04-2009

Moving from hierarchical to flat: Networks not organizations

Yes we are talking about networks and not organizations. I think we all wish organizations would become flatter as well!

As we start to move into the dawn of the virtual data center also known as Cloud Computing.  We start to see a trend happening in more data centers across the globe.  We are seeing traditional 3 or 4 tier networks architectures collapsing into a flatter network.  Private and Public Cloud computing is driving the fundamental architecture change.  It was easy in the old compute model to design and build hierarchal networks.  The compute node didn't have to have knowledge about other compute nodes in the network.  It was fairly simple to manage and understand with the way traditional applications were deployed.  Well server virtualization has changed the game and taken off throughout the data center.  Now a single compute node might have to have knowledge of hundreds or potentially thousands of other compute nodes within the infrastructure.  This could be within the data center or potentially in the future between a number of different locations.  So having a number of isolated networks trying to communicate has become a network architect's nightmare.  This has also put constraints on performance within the network.  With a traditional hierarchical network design it was standard to have oversubscription from the access layer all of the way to the core.  With more and more taffic starting to move east and west with server virtualization oversubscription will be become a bottleneck in large mobile environments.

Brocade has rolled out it's VDX product line to help transition into a flatter network architecture.  This allows for greater cloud computing attributes to be taken advantage of by our customers.  This is not a new concept to Brocade, brocade has been building flatter networks since the mid 90's with it's Fibre Channel (FC) products.  Typically designed with only two layers so the compute nodes have access to a high performance, low latency and deterministic environment for storage connectivity.  The VDX product line allows the Layer 2 Domain within the network to scale to allow a flatter network architecture. With it's distributed control plane now every device within the VCS cloud has the ability to see each other.  This make server mobility a seamless operation.  With this technology now the customer has the ability to do equal-cost-multi-path routing (ECMP) and load balancing to make sure every available link within the network can be utilized for the growing bandwidth constraints virtualization brings to the network.

Are you seeing the same issues as you start to look at re-architecting your network for Private or Public Cloud environments?

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