In years past, TBNG Consulting has seen that speeds and feeds were the biggest chips on the shoulder of any Network Administrator; the faster, the better. These days however, there’s more to the story. Network Design is an ever-changing art that tries to balance the information-access needs of modern business with a diametrically opposed nemesis; the need to keep secrets, secret. The more open a network, the easier it is to share information and the more likely it becomes that some of that information will find its way into the hands of people who shouldn’t be seeing it.
One recent phenomenon that’s gaining momentum is the concept of “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD), where the ubiquity of network-capable devices in the hands of employees, guests and contractors, is creating a need to open traditionally secure corporate networks to non-corporate devices. In short, corporations everywhere are increasingly finding that they’re “expected” to provide at least some form of connectivity to devices that they don’t own or control. BYOD is starting to have a major impact on network design, as network administrators wrestle with two issues; the “Access vs. Security” question and the sudden impact of bandwidth-hungry, hyper-mobile platforms that can exponentially increase the utilization of a network in ways that are hard to predict. Extensible, authentication-capable switches and routers as well as higher and higher bandwidth transport in the form of the latest 10-gigabit and 40-gigabit technology is all becoming indispensable in the battle to stay ahead of BYOD.
Another major development impacting network design is the advent of “Ethernet Fabrics”. In a sense, this is the first true evolution of the mechanics of Ethernet since the introduction of VLANs and the new 802.1Q frame format in the early 1990’s. The increasing popularity of Virtual Machines, along with the emergence of time and delay-sensitive traffic types like Voice and Video over IP, as well as the inevitable convergence of SAN and IP traffic into the same physical infrastructure, has stretched traditional Ethernet transport to the breaking point. In essence, Ethernet is now being called upon to carry traffic types and serve systems that it was never designed to handle. Ethernet Fabrics are all about re-architecting Ethernet to make it more amenable to these new demands and create a far more efficient, orderly, predictable transport technology to serve IT needs as far into the future as any of us can see.
To learn more on how you can increase the effectiveness of your network, please join TBNG Consulting for an informative technical event with Brocade the evening of Thursday September 27th. The event will be held in Wallingford, CT at The Hadco Viking Center. In addition to learning valuable information on switching technology this will be combined with a professionally hosted cooking class for those in attendance. Please click here
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