The ongoing drive for organization’s to be more efficient in their business operations, besides being flexible in addressing the needs of their stakeholders to maximize business opportunities, is forcing IT systems to evolve. This evolution is evident through mass consolidation of infrastructure, virtualization of business systems and explosive growth of data volumes needing to be stored and transmitted over the network. This and the ever-growing requirements of a highly mobile and tech-savvy workforce are major considerations when choosing the right systems, network and technologies for the business.

These changes are making organizations walk down the path of fundamentally different computing models that have an increasingly sophisticated underlying infrastructure to enable it. The data center becomes a focal point for much of this change. The network that underpins and supports the data center and the move towards cloud computing modelsis critical to the success of data center evolution, yet it is often overlooked. It is clear that the network connects users to applications, servers to servers, servers to storage and data center’s to one another and is a cornerstone of any IT environment.

Evolved and virtualized data centers fundamentally challenge traditional networks and how they are built. Networks must be architected differently to deliver higher levels of performance, scalability, and availability to meet the demands of modern business operations.

Beyond ever increasing performance, these data center networks must fully support and enable virtualization and offer fault-tolerant recovery to protect against server, storage, network, and application vulnerabilities to ensure continued performance and minimize service disruptions.

A host of technology innovations have emerged to assist in enabling the network to support the data center. These, together with new approaches to network architecture, need to be considered by organization who are embarking on data center modernization projects, or who are considering utilizing some form of cloud computing.

The business and the IT world are changing and driving the evolution of data centers, computing models, and the network, which is the foundation of the data center.

There have been many innovations in networking technology and network architectures in recent years and organizations should consider working with partners who have significant depth of network and data center knowledge to assist them in their way forward.

The result should be a solid data center network platform in the data center which will allow for the successful modernization of data centers and the move to private and public cloud computing models.