Simplify Your Data Center and get ready for the cloud-based digital economy
Mar 2, 2016
Customers love simple-to-use products and services. Something that is easy to understand, intuitive and which exactly meets their needs. In a world of multiple choices, with many vendors competing for their business, they not only want the best experience and service but also expect everybody to match – or better surpass – their high level of expectations. As such, many digital businesses have transformed themselves to better meet these demands by anticipating customer and user preferences and continually innovating to maintain competitive advantage.
Continuing the need for simplicity, organizations are always looking to simplify company operations. More streamlined processes provide many benefits when applied to delivering a rich customer experience, including reduced cost, less complaints, fewer errors, and stronger market differentiation. For management, striving for simplicity, closely coupled with innovation, has become a cultural mind-set.
The owned data center has long supported business growth but a great many organizations are now making cloud adoption a fundamental part of how they do business. A cloud architecture provides a cost-effective, pay-as-you-go resource that can scale quickly, provide flexible, fast-to-deploy, provisioned services, with applications that can be rapidly spread across geographically-distributed sites or cloud environments.
As a foundation to the digital business the network is a critical enabler for enterprises to integrate cloud-based services, especially with hybrid models. Cloud Providers rely on the network to build a flexible and pay-as-you-go infrastructure, which enables them to deliver cost-effective services to their clients. A simple, well-designed infrastructure can speed up traffic, avoid errors, remove congestion, enforce and maintain ubiquitous security, while also costing less to operate than traditional networks. From a data center perspective, we recommend two key elements to designing a simplified high-performance network:
Adopting open standards is the ideal route to simplifying network evolution. It increases flexibility, protects legacy equipment and enables the introduction of best-of-breed innovation from a wide development community. Juniper Networks' MetaFabric™ architecture provides a coherent and open environment within and between data centers. Switching, routing, security, orchestration and automation – all are working in conjunction with an open technology ecosystem to accelerate the deployment and delivery of applications for enterprises and service providers alike. For Juniper, 'open' means adhering to industry standards and platforms such as OpenStack. It also means publishing APIs that allow partners and customers to talk directly to the operating system and define the network in the manner that best suits their unique needs. It means adding components easily from other vendors as and when you choose, whether it's network devices, storage or servers. Customers running bi-modal IT, i.e. two separate, coherent modes of IT delivery, one focused on stability and the other on agility, will also benefit from the flexibility and easier integration.
Juniper recommends implementing a topology that reduces the number of tiers to ensure low latency and allow the rapid transfer of data across virtualized environments. Many traditional data centers still work with a hierarchical tree structure which was fine in the old client/server environments, but today apps and websites integrate data from numerous geographically distributed sources. As a result, the biggest data transfers nowadays are east-west (server-to-server). The preferred topology for new data center networks is a flattened 'spine-and-leaf' approach which presents a much better foundation on which to build a data center in terms of scalability, performance, agility and cost. 'Simple' from the end user's perspective also means rapid access to information and short download times. With many businesses moving toward a service-oriented, scalable infrastructure, flattening the network not only creates opportunities for deploying automation and virtualization technologies but also drives up performance across the network to improve the overall customer experience.
In short, simplicity wins over complexity in the data center – especially when building a network with a strong foundation to drive innovation through your organization, helping you succeed in the digital economy. If you want to hear more on how this can be done, please join the complimentary Juniper webinar on Thursday, 17th March 2016.