Enterprises face four key considerations when choosing the right product for their data center connects strategic white paper, “Enterprise Data Center Connect,” by Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert). The goal is to achieve versatility and scale so that the network is high-performance now and future ready. needs, according to a recent
The considerations cited for a data center connect solution are as follows. It should:
- Accommodate a rapidly expanding volume of data that is being exchanged between data centers
- Improve the quality of the company’s disaster recovery provisions
- Enable operating expense reductions through the consolidation of networking resources.
- Facilitate federated storage across a range of data center locations
“As enterprise storage requirements grow at 60 percent annually, enterprises must provide resilient support for this growth,” Alcatel-Lucent noted in the paper. “This includes replicating mission-critical information synchronously in real-time, which puts additional performance pressure on the DCC network infrastructure.”
All four of these needs require high-bandwidth, low latency and good resiliency, factors that data center connect evaluators should focus on when choosing a product, according to the paper.
Primary technologies for data center connect include:
- Layer 3 IP transport, widely available through service provider VPN services, and often deployed in data center Tier 4 application environments.
- Layer 2 Ethernet, commonly used for Tier 3 and Tier 4 metro and regional application requirements
- Optical Wave Division Multiplexing (WDM)
The latter has emerged as the technology of choice to address the high-bandwidth, predictable low-latency and multi-protocol requirements of Tier 1 and Tier 2 data center applications. And, for a variety of reasons the authors believe the Alcatel-Lucent 1830 Photonic Service Switch is a good choice for a WDM data center connect solution.
The attributes of the 1830 Photonic Service Switch are comprehensive. They address data center connect needs by delivering on disaster recovery requirements, expanding data transfer, and providing federated storage and operating expense reductions.
For example, in terms of scalability, the 1830 Photonic Service Switch supports WDM networking options at 2.5 G, 10 G, 40 G and 100 G, and metro, regional, long-haul and ultralong-haul network reach with a variety of optimized modulation schemes. In addition, the channel capacity per fiber can grow from a single wavelength per fiber pair to an industry-leading 88 wavelengths, Alcatel-Lucent explained.
Capital expense reduction comes from support of a unified portfolio of universal transponder and muxponder line cards that can be deployed in the PSS-4/16/32 shelves which means no need for dedicated spare cards for each shelf configuration. This translated into fewer shared cards to be purchased for sparing.
Security is also a highlight. The 1830 Photonic Service Switch utilizes Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)3 block encryption/decryption ciphers to perform symmetric Layer 1 encryption for multi-protocol data types, and integrated hardware and robust 256-bit AES keys encrypt data flows and deliver securely transported information. In fact, the paper notes that the Alcatel-Lucent 1830 PSS encryption module was designed and tested using the Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) 1402 standards4, including detailed requirements for strong cryptographic algorithms and physical device protection.
With disaster recovery considerations a dominant factor in evaluating all aspects of data center operations, the paper states that: “mission-critical data is replicated synchronously across a pair of active and backup data centers, often placed within metro distances to meet desired latency requirements. The 1830 PSS supports Fibre Channel over DWDM at 1-G, 2G, 4G, 8G, 10G and 16G FC rates. End-to-end FC transport solutions based on this platform are certified to be interoperable with major storage and FC switch vendors.”
There is no question that in a world that relies on the super fast interactions of computing resources inside data sides that then must interact with remote computers, speeds and feeds that are reliable, extensible, scalable, high-performance and secure are a must. While plumbing may not be exciting it is truly mission critical and this is why as the paper notes the Alcatel-Lucent’s 1830 Photonic Service Switch is a data center connect solution that deserves careful consideration.
Edited by Peter Bernstein