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Julia Davis, SVP and CIO, Aflac [NYSE: AFL]
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Importance of Intelligent Network Infrastructure for Enterprise Data Center
A high-quality network is crucial for seamless data transfer within an organization or data center. But having an equally efficient hardware infrastructure is important for the network to be built on. Currently, all the network and hardware management jobs are conducted by humans at the data centers to suffice the need but in the age of automation, it is necessary for the network to comprehend and control the hardware. A network that learns its IT resources has the better chances to predict events and be prepared accordingly. In the era where demands of IT resources are enormous, it is crucial for business success that there is real-time visibility, awareness, and management of network performance. Software-defined networking (SDN) has emerged as a solution to achieve the situational awareness businesses require.
Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) is a subset of software-defined networking that streamlines deployment, management, and scaling of data center resources by combining server and storage resources with intelligent software. HCI allows the integrated technologies to be managed by a single system through a common toolset. Scalability of such a system is high; the infrastructure can be easily scaled by adding nodes to the base unit. Virtual desktop infrastructure is one the common use cases of the technology.
HCI is widely incorporated by enterprises to inject agility in innovations and bring costs down. But the incorporating HCI with legacy network technology would impact the performance as it will take a longer time to set up new applications. Therefore, for optimal utilization of resources and seamless workflow in data centers, it is required to combine a hyper-converged system with an equally capable network. An intelligent, workload-aware network is capable of handling dynamic workloads, on-demand services, and diverse traffic flow within the datacenter.
Making network an integral unit of hyper-converged system enterprises can obtain a level of awareness where the network can understand critical workloads to identify and isolate the workload to guarantee performance. Also, IT organizations would be able to bring in cloud agility, simplicity, and scalability to enterprise datacenter. With an intelligent network that is aware of its hardware achieve business and automation goals become a lot easier and cost-effective.