The current evolution of computing is prompting enterprise datacenters and their associated networks to adopt new approaches. The four pillars of computing — cloud, mobility, social, and analytics — are now the key trends driving new levels of network innovation that will determine the design and operation of datacenter networks over the next several years.
Like other types of datacenter infrastructure, the network exists to support and deliver enterprise application workloads that are critical to business success. During the client/server era of computing, the network fulfilled that role admirably both architecturally and operationally. In recent years, however, new types of workloads and traffic patterns have made new demands on datacenter infrastructure in terms of responsiveness, user satisfaction, and the ability to roll out cutting-edge applications that depend on enhanced performance.
While other aspects of datacenter infrastructure have changed to meet those challenges, progress in network infrastructure has been slower for a variety of reasons. However, momentum is shifting, and now network managers — with the backing of IT staff — need to step up to the challenges posed by these fundamental changes in the enterprise compute model by adopting new models for network transformation.