Datacentre virtualisation big in 2012, SDN focus for this year: Brocade

Networking vendor concentrates on Software Defined Networking links networks in 2013

As more datacentres become virtualised, Australian IT businesses are pushing to maximise the benefits this brings.

In 2012, Brocade APAC vice-president, Charlie Foo, saw organisations turn to virtualisation solutions built around pools of flexible server and storage resources in order to meet their business requirements.

“While traditional IT management strategies focused on monitoring and managing hardware components, virtualisation allows organisations to concentrate on the application stack, ensuring that users have access to the tools and information they need, when they need it,” he said.

However, when it comes to implementing a holistic datacentre virtualisation strategy, Foo said these organisations need a “unified, end-to-end solution” approach based on IT infrastructure that is a “powerful, reliable, and scalable.”

What came out of the left field for Foo in 2012 was the channel working with technology providers and clients to design networks where IT can be harnessed to integrate the existing infrastructures with new solutions.

“This creates a dynamic environment that better utilises appropriate data usage and ultimately leads to a more agile business environment,” he said.

The positive trend with virtualisation so far has been more and more business becoming savvier with the technology, leading to improved hardware utilisation, rapid application deployment and increased workload mobility.

At the same time, Foo said the challenges are also becoming more widely understood.

“Many IT managers are appreciating the management dilemmas that accompany the virtualised environment,” he said. The responsibility then for the channel is to understand this roadmap to a virtualised environment, as well as the benefits that it can bring.

Foo said this includes the understanding of open standards infrastructure, the best practices required to ensure that your IT environment made up from applications, networks, computing and associated vendors is inter-operational and how the hard work with upfront planning of the network translates into a fully optimised virtual environment.

Clearly defined

When it comes to Brocade’s focus for 2013, Foo said SDN (Software Defined Networking) links networks and applications will be at the forefront.

“SDN enables direct programmatic control of the network in line with end-user application needs, rather than programming around the network, as is done today,” he said.

Foo expects the introduction of SDN solutions from Brocade in 2013 will assist clients in the effort to reduce CapEx and OpEx, while at the same time potentially increase service velocity by enabling a flexible and agile network environment.

“By having access to network topology information, applications can optimise decisions related to service fulfillment, service placement, and service removal,” he said.

“The network has the intelligence to provide guidance to a key set of applications through abstraction, including peer-to-peer, content distribution, and datacentre applications.”

Foo said Brocade will support the SDN push via ongoing education and the possibilities for reducing the cost of IP service delivery and increasing services.

“This is a new business model which justifies new service deployment and technical innovation that can enable service profitability,” he said.

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.

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