It’s a consistent theme, both here at Fiber Mountain and in the networking industry as a whole - data centers are changing. They’re changing in so many ways, in fact, that it’s difficult to keep up with all the new developments! That’s why the news of UNH-IOL’s new SDN Test Consortium made it to my list of favorite articles this week. Robust vendor-agnostic interoperability testing should make it easier for network owners to evaluate options and choose the best combination for their business needs, although in-house testing will still be necessary.
There are other considerations too, however. David Mazzarese asks “How much fiber will be enough?” and discusses some of the physical infrastructure challenges created by exploding traffic growth, while RFCode shares a timely reminder that old physical assets need to be accounted for in planning the roadmap from present data center architectures to the more agile and dynamic data centers we envision for the future.
Light Reading | Brain Santo reports on the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory and their efforts to provide reliable testing for both vendors and data center owners in the SDN market. Initially, they will focus on three specific use cases (IoT, SDN WAN and NFV), but as membership grows that is likely to expand. They are also committed to collaborating with other labs.
The Consortium will be testing SDN applications and controllers against SDN Switches, starting with interoperability testing and adding conformance and benchmarking according to Consortium member requests. Maybe I should suggest that our sales team reach out to them with the Test Automation use case for Fiber Mountain’s OPX!
Cabling Installation & Maintenance Magazine | David Mazzarese references the Cisco Visual Networking Index, which forecasts 25% per year growth in IP traffic across the globe, and ties it in to the necessity of optical fiber, “the only transmission medium capable of supporting this explosive growth.” He discusses the limits of current infrastructure and some of the challenges and potential coming in the near future, for access networks, long haul connections and intra-data center connectivity.
This is a nice brief infographic on the standard journey of a data center asset from purchase to end of life – although one of the beautiful things about SDN is making it possible to redeploy assets without necessarily having to move them to a new physical location! This also serves as a reminder that no matter what new technologies become available, lots of older equipment is still going to be in use for a long time. New data center architectures need to take into account making the most of old structures and assets during the transition period, as well as planning for future needs.
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