CTR Exclusives

Going Beyond SDN and NFV for WAN

Going Beyond SDN and NFV for WAN

by Steve Woo

At the macro level, new innovations in wide area networking (WAN) are being triggered by at least four broad-based trends:

  1. 1. Migration of business-critical applications to the cloud (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, etc.);
  2. Increase in the number and distribution of branch offices, the number of mobile workers, and the speed of deployment desired;
  3. Expectation by employees that they will have high-quality anywhere, anytime access to enterprise and cloud applications, with high bandwidth; and
  4. Concerns about security by IT administrators who are losing visibility and policy control over network traffic being routed over public broadband links.

Software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) have been touted as new ways to address these macro trends. Although often used in conjunction with one another, SDN and NFV are not joined at the hip technologically; they can be applied independently. For the vast majority of enterprises, however, SDN and NFV—separately or together—are not sufficient to adequately address the trends pressuring today’s distributed enterprises.

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Data Defined Storage: Uncover the Value from Your Global Data Store

Data Defined Storage: Uncover the Value from Your Global Data Store

by Shahbaz Ali

Organizations today are grappling with unyielding data growth up to and beyond the petabyte level. Massive growth magnifies data management challenges, such as the overheads associated with storage acquisition and operation, as well as exacerbated data protection, governance and security concerns due to regulatory issues and data mobility. Modern businesses must find solutions that provide agility to both enterprise network users and to a geographically dispersed workforce. The capability to leverage big data analytics to gain value from their vast data stores is critical for organizations to gain a competitive edge.

NAS solutions do not scale to the levels required in many of today’s IT environments that are already dealing with petabyte levels of data. When you run out of space on a NAS, you can purchase more NAS devices, which can become costly and create data silos. Data silos are extremely inefficient as they regularly have unused capacity and prevent organizations from understanding and appropriately leveraging the data they possess, except through the individual application that created the data. Users of file based storage systems access data using standard network protocols such as NFS or SMB/CIFS, which creates a challenge for data access for geographically dispersed or mobile users.

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Getting Started With Software-defined Networking

Getting Started With Software-defined Networking

by Steve Garrison

The most practical way to start exploring a Software-defined networking (SDN) deployment is with a proof of concept (POC). But even if the IT department has the approval to go ahead with an SDN POC, it can be difficult to know where to start. There are dozens of different SDN products on the market, and IT staff can become inundated with options. In this article, we’ll try to break through the uncertainty and lay out what it takes to do a successful SDN POC.

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Software Defined Networking: Coming Soon to a Network Near You

Software Defined Networking: Coming Soon to a Network Near You

by Justin Hadler

The buzz around software defined networking (SDN), an approach that abstracts control from network endpoints to a centralized process in software, is getting louder and louder. SDN is poised to improve security, network efficiency, and flexibility while reducing complexity. But, shouldn’t your organization have an understanding of how SDN will infiltrate the network community?

Rather than a quick implementation of SDN into the industry, we will see a progressive transition as SDN infiltrates the market place. The evolution of SDN can be broken into three phases, one which is currently underway, and two that are likely to occur over the next three to five years. Since SDN is going to overhaul network management, it’s critical for organizations to clearly understand when adoption should occur and what hurdles to overcome in order to reap the benefits of SDN.

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Accelerating SAN Storage with Server Flash Caching

Accelerating SAN Storage with Server Flash Caching

by Tony Afshary

The data deluge, with its relentless increase in the volume and velocity of data, has brought renewed focus on an old problem: the enormous performance gap that exists in input and output (I/O) operations between a server’s memory and disk storage. I/O takes a mere 100 nanoseconds for information stored in a server’s memory, whereas I/O to a hard disk drive (HDD) takes about 10 milliseconds — a difference of five orders of magnitude that is having a profound adverse impact on application performance and response times.

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