Leiden, 30 November 2010 – Data centers are complex, expensive and don’t always offer the performance necessary for a data-intensive economy. Traditional approaches, which are based on continually more hardware, do not provide a solution in the long-term. According to Juniper Networks and network integrator Infradata, there is always time for real innovation.
Wim van Campen, Area Vice-President Northern Europe at Juniper Networks: “A fundamentally new approach is needed in the area of data center infrastructures.”
Wim van Campen, Area Vice-President Northern Europe at Juniper Networks, leaves no room for misunderstandings: “A fundamentally new approach is needed in the area of data center infrastructures. Things have to be simpler, more economical and less expensive and performance needs to increase. This is no longer possible with a traditional approach. We need real innovation. Only a new approach can turn the tide.”
Van Campen points to the enormous increase of network traffic. “First there was the mainframe, which only loaded the network to a limited degree. Then we had client-server environments that caused significantly more network traffic. And the really big explosion came with Internet traffic. Now we are seeing large data streams, including from server to server and from servers to storage environments. That’s asking a lot from data centers, with bottlenecks quickly becoming big problems. We need structural changes at the architectural level.”
Juniper took on the challenge and introduced a new infrastructure approach in the spring of 2010 under the slogan 3-2-1. “With this we are aiming at a line of march that goes from the triple-layer networks of today – with access, aggregation and core – to a dual-layer environment with only access and core. The end point is an infrastructure with only one layer where everything happens. We are currently focusing on creating two layers, with our Virtual Chassis fabric playing a crucial role. Virtualization is thus making its entrance into the network. Using Virtual Chassis in the access layer means that aggregation is no longer necessary. This results in less complexity, with the number of switch interactions decreasing by 99% compared to triple-layer networks. This greatly reduces delays, which leads to significantly improved application performance. One concrete example of a solution that we've introduced for this is the MX series, which can offer 1,000 ports in one system. This, then, is a fully fledged data center fabric,” says Van Campen.
According to Van Campen, this innovative approach is prompted by current market dynamics. “There are a number of developments that directly influence the data center. Think of consolidation, virtualization and the fast rise of fiber-optics. We won’t resolve that by lugging inside more boxes. You have to come up with something new in order to respond to all of these developments. What’s more, networks must become more flexible and scalable. Service providers will also want to provide new services to their consumers faster than now.”
For Juniper partner Infradata, the new 3-2-1 approach was the ideal opportunity to create a practical proposition based on the concept. Nino Tomovski, Director of Operations at Infradata, explains: “We are seeing a development whereby end-users are increasingly sharing resources in the cloud. This can be private or public clouds. Service providers can also offer cloud services directly or based on a wholesale model. In all cases, a scalable, flexible and secure data center infrastructure is needed that you configure to fulfill all of the end-users’ requirements. We have developed a complete concept based on Juniper Networks and VMware for organizations of various sizes. Crucial advantages in this connection are the use of Junos as a generic OS for all Juniper products and the integration with V-Sphere by VMware. This ensures the necessary standardization and makes maintaining the various components much simpler. Our customers are very enthusiastic about this combination because they only need to invest once in knowledge and can then apply it to all components.”
Nino Tomovski, Director of Operations at Infradata, explains: "In all cases, a scalable, flexible and secure data center infrastructure is needed.”
Some of the direct advantages of Infradata’s cloud concept according to Tomovski are improved use of network sources, greater availability of the network, more flexibility and effective disaster recovery. “These advantages are primarily of a technical nature and help save on the TCO (total cost of ownership). But the concept also lends itself excellently to supporting operational managers and service providers and helping with the question of what it can mean to service provision to end-users. This business point of view is at least as important to us as a network integrator as the technical side of things.”
Wim van Campen of Juniper Networks emphasizes the enormous importance of close cooperation between manufacturers and implementation partners. “We place great value on partnerships because our partners know their customers and can plan these customers’ future together with them. Infradata provides a unique perspective on this by creating a strong concept with our products and our architecture approach. The fact that the company invests a great deal in knowledge and expertise regarding our products and combines it with market knowledge is an additional stimulus for customer to work together with a partner such as Infradata.”