Before your road trip to the cloud, clean up under the hood. [Cisco]

Clean up under the hood

So you think you’re ready for your journey to the cloud. Before you hop in and shift gears, there’s a little engine maintenance in order.

As the amount of data, applications and servers in data centers have increases, too have corresponding storage and networks. One of the challenges of storage-specific networking protocols is that they’re incompatible with the dominant server networking protocol: Ethernet. Organizations have therefore had to deploy entirely separate physical networks in their data centers: an Ethernet LAN for server connectivity and a SAN for storage. Although the two mostly perform the same function, they have separate physical networks, with separate switches, cabling, networking hardware and connections into each server. This creates a lot of potential complexity that is an easy target for elimination.

Your data center has gotten crowded.

Because these networks use different protocols, SANs and Ethernet varieties often need to be maintained by separate teams with different skill sets. Not only is this inefficient because it requires potentially redundant network management staff, now adding, moving, or changing physical servers and connections needs coordination between two groups. That makes it costly and inefficient for organizations and reduces their flexibility to adapt to changing business needs – like getting into the cloud. [Read more…]