Leaving the dirt road network behind

There was a time, back in the horse and buggy days or even the early days of automobiles, where dirt roads were just fine. They could be a little dusty or muddy at times but they fit the technology requirements well enough. They did the job. But once technology improved, once heavier cars and particularly trucks – like 18-wheelers for instance – started making their way onto our transportation infrastructure, that infrastructure had to catch up. We needed asphalt roads, interstate highways, stronger bridges, a transportation network that could get us where we wanted to go more quickly and securely.

That’s a little bit like where you are right now on your enterprise’s journey to the cloud. No, you won’t need some fancy Star Trek transporter device to get you up there – at least not yet. You simply need a network infrastructure that offers better bandwidth and throughput, one that does a better job of setting you up for automation within your platform-based environment and the elasticity, the dynamic sort of infrastructure you want to see in a full-fledged cloud computing environment that supports your IT needs.

After all, if you look at traditional networking environments, you probably have 80% more cable infrastructure than you need and 60% more physical devices that you have to manage, model, control and support. Now, as you bring new workloads – particularly mixed workloads from a storage connectivity standpoint – into a virtual and non-virtual environment, you have to have your infrastructure house in order or you’ll never make it to the cloud. Not to mention, manufacturers continue to follow Moore’s Law and roll out faster and larger processors every 18 months and continue to pack more memory onto servers so they can get more workloads to particular hosts they want to virtualize. You can’t keep piling things up on a dirt road.

Put another way, if I’m duplicating or triplicating the amount of switches and cables in my environment from a hardware standpoint, networking continues to be a bottleneck and I’m never going to have the performance or elasticity to prepare my environment for the promise of cloud computing.

It’s as simple – or challenging – as that.

 And what it will come down to in the end to meet this challenge – as it often does – is planning and investing. To get your infrastructure in order and ready for the cloud takes a little money but it’s money that will save more and pay dividends for the long road ahead.

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About Matthew Bynum

With over 10 years of professional IT experience working in all facets of the technology industry, Matthew has amassed a broad portfolio of technology, enterprise architecture, business and IT management expertise. He also has a solid and proven understanding of the technological and architectural foundational components that are necessary to support the business systems of a company. Matthew has worked for and provided consulting services to more than 100 North American and international companies that operate within a broad array of industry verticals. Matthew has been working on Cisco networking solutions for 10 years, and holds CCIE #21753.