Building Blocks for Solid Networks | Features | ChannelWorld.in

PARTNER HOTLINES

Building Blocks for Solid Networks

By Paul Venezia on Sep 07, 2010

The network is a datacenter’s foundation. In most infrastructures, the datacenter core is constructed differently from the LAN core.Here are the ground rules for building reliable networks.

The term “network” applies to everything from LAN to SAN to WAN. All these variations require a network core, so let’s start there. The size of the organization will determine the size and capacity of the core. In most infrastructures, the datacenter core is constructed differently from the LAN core. If we take a hypothetical network that has to serve the needs of a few hundred or a thousand users in a single building, with a datacenter in the middle, it’s not uncommon to find that there are big switches in the middle and aggregation switches at the edges.

Ideally, the core is composed of two modular switching platforms that carry data from the edge over gigabit fiber, located in the same room as the server and storage infrastructure. Two gigabit fiber links to a closet of, say, 100 switch ports is sufficient for most business purposes. In the event that it’s not, you’re likely better off bonding multiple 1Gbit links rather than upgrading to 10G for those closets. As 10G drops in price, this will change, but for now it’s far cheaper to bond several 1Gbit ports than to add 10G capability to both the core and the edge.

In the likely event that VoIP will be deployed, it may be beneficial to implement small modular switches at the edge as well, allowing PoE (Power over Ethernet) modules to be installed in the same switch as the non-PoE ports. Alternatively, deploying trunked PoE ports to each user is also a possibility. This allows a single port to be used for VoIP and desktop access tasks.

In the familiar hub-and-spoke model, the core connects to the edge aggregation switches with at least two links, either connecting to the server infrastructure with direct copper runs or through server aggregation switches in each rack. This decision must be determined site by site, due to the distance limitations of copper cabling.
Either way, it’s cleaner to deploy server aggregation switches in each rack and run only a few fiber links back to the core than try to shoehorn everything into a few huge switches. In addition, using server aggregation switches will allow redundant connections to redundant cores, which will eliminate the possibility of losing server communications in the event of a core switch failure. If you can afford it and your layout permits it, use server aggregation switches.

Regardless of the physical layout method, the core switches need to be redundant in every possible way: redundant power, redundant interconnections, and redundant routing protocols. Ideally, they should have redundant control modules as well, but you can make do without them if you can’t afford them.
Core switches will be responsible for switching nearly every packet in the infrastructure, so they need to be balanced accordingly. It’s a good idea to make ample use of HSRP (Hot Standby Routing Protocol) or VRRP (Virtual Routing Redundancy Protocol). These allow two discrete switches to effectively share a single IP and MAC address, which is used as the default route for a VLAN. In the event that one core fails, those VLANs will still be accessible.

Finally, proper use of STP (Spanning-Tree Protocol) is essential to proper network operation. A full discussion of these two technologies is beyond the scope of this guide, but correct configuration of these two elements will have a significant effect on the resiliency and proper operation of any Layer-3 switched network.


Latest Features

EDITOR'S PICK

Forecast 2015: IT Spending On An Upswing

As purse strings loosen up, CIOs blend innovation into 2015 IT budgets, but security and cost containment remain top priorities.

‘Security Compliance is Not a Proactive Phenomenon in India’

Pavan Duggal, Cyber Law Expert at the Supreme Court of India, explains why channel partners need to look beyond the IT Act 2000 as the security standards, given today’s fast-changing threat landscape, rapidly evolve.

IT is Indispensable for Business Optimization: David Aires, Intel

David L. Aires, VP, Information Technology Group, and GM, Information Technology Operations, believes security to be the biggest challenge in the current IT environment.

Is the CIO Role Nearing Extinction?

New technologies are shifting power to the hands of the user, endangering the CIO role. But do Indian CIOs consider that a threat or an opportunity? 

The Authentication Market is Big Play for Channels: Gaurav Chawla, Gemalto

We are building a partner network to address the increased demand for authentication solutions across India, says Gaurav Chawla, Director, IAM, Gemalto India.

Versatile Infosecurity: Riding the Security Wave

It takes vision and persistence to stay on top of the security curve. Versatile Infosecurity has mastered that art.

How Futurenet Technologies Helped Sterlite Copper Adopt Next-gen Client Computing

Sterlite Copper was able to successfully adopt next-gen client computing facilities with hand-in-hand assistance from Chennai-based Futurenet Technologies.

DigitalTrack Solutions: Right on the Security Track

DigitalTrack is keeping pace with the changes in the IT security space through DDoS and WAF solutions and is pushing security audits as part of its next move.

SLIDESHOWS

6 Leaders Who Headed for an Abrupt Exit

The abrupt exit of top leaders of Indian and global tech companies this year, with many of them citing ambiguous reasons, surprised the technology world.

Gartner Executive Summary Survey 2014

Gartner's Annual CIO Survey highlights the trends that will drive organizational IT spend in 2014.

10 Overhyped Tech Products That Crashed and Burned

The demos blew everyone away. Then reality hit.

Gartner Executive Summary Survey 2014

Gartner's Annual CIO Survey highlights the trends that will drive organizational IT spend in 2014.

ChannelWorld Survey: State of the Market 2014

Partners poll their sentiments, expectations, pain points, and challenges for the coming year.

FAST TRACK

Mudra Electronics

A vendor-agnostic strategy helped us sustain business, says Bharat Shetty, CMD, Mudra Electronics.

Systematix Technologies

Our USP is a customer-friendly approach backed by services, says Akhilesh Khandelwal, Director, Systematix Technologies.

CorporateServe Solutions

Our ability to turnaround complex ERP projects in record time is what gets us customer referral, says Vinay Vohra, Founder & CEO, CorporateServe Solutions.

KernelSphere Technologies

We are emerging as an end-to-end systems integrator, says Vinod Kumar, MD, KernelSphere Technologies.

Uniware Systems

We constantly validate emerging technologies for first-mover advantage, says Vergis K.R., CEO, Uniware Systems.

Astek Networking & Solutions

An innovative approach helps us stay successful, says Ashish Agarwal, CEO, Astek Networking & Solutions.

CSM Technologies

Our approach is backed by innovation and simplicity, says Priyadarshi Nanu Pany, CEO, CSM Technologies.

ETSC Computers

We want to be recognized as a complete solution provider, says Kailash Gupta, Director, ETSC Computers.

VIDEOS

Arun Parameswaran on VMware’s Cloud, Mobile, SDx Strategy

Arun Parameswaran, MD, VMware India, talks about transformation, strategy, roadmap, and VMware’s role in driving the shift to cloud, mobile, and SDx.

Parag Arora, Citrix: Our Portfolio Will Augment Our Strategy

Parag Arora, Area Vice President, Citrix India, elaborates on his action plan for the company after taking over operations in India.

Shibu Paul, Array Networks: ADN is a Great Business Opportunity for Channels

Shibu Paul elaborates on how Array Networks is empowering its partner ecosystem to address the modern datacenter challenges in India.

Scott Robertson, WatchGuard: We are an End-to-End Security Solutions Company

Scott Robertson of WatchGuard elaborates on the company’s partner roadmap in India and its subsequent shift in the security space.

Gaurav Ahluwalia, R&M: Channels Will Accelerate Our Datacenter Business

Gaurav Ahluwalia of R&M speaks on the company’s renewed focus to build its channel ecosystem and address the datacenter demands of India Inc.

Venkat Murthy, 22by7 Solutions: Real Value is in Solutions

Venkat Murthy, Prime Mover, 22by7 Solutions, elaborates on the need to look at a solutions approach rather than a mere hardware approach.

What Channel Partners Can Learn from a Sahara Adventurer

Steve Donahue, a desert adventurer and a best-selling author, takes experiences from this travels in the Sahara and turns them into lessons for channel partners, as they navigate the shifting sands of today's business and IT environment.

Rahul Agarwal, Lenovo: Profitability and Value Proposition are Vital

Rahul Agarwal, executive director, Commercial Business Segment, Lenovo India, talks about Lenovo’s renewed channel strategy and why the company is now an attractive proposition for its partners.

EMC PARTNER SHOWCASE

Partnering for Profitability

Atul H. Gosar, Director, Network Techlab, shares how the company’s association with EMC has provided it with a competitive edge and a wide customer base, leading to increased profitability.

Sponsored Content

Promising Pipeline

Venkat Murthy, Prime Mover, 22by7 Solutions, shares how EMC brings in competitive edge by enabling technology, GTM and lead generation, helping 22by7 acquire new customers and retain old ones.

Sponsored Content

Powerful Performance

Deepak Jadhav, Director, VDA Infosolutions, says initiatives by EMC around training and certification have helped the company’s staff improve its performance and enhance customer experience.

Sponsored Content

Performance Booster

Rajiv Kumar, CEO, Proactive Data Systems, says that the solution provider’s association with EMC has helped expand its customer base and added value to existing offerings.

Sponsored Content

Pursuit of Profitability

Santosh Agrawal, CEO, Esconet Technologies, shares insights on how the systems integrator’s association with EMC has spelled sustained success over the years.

Sponsored Content

Non-Performance is Not an Option

Nitin Aggarwal, Director, Trifin Technologies, shares insights on how the association with EMC has helped the system integrator stand out and empowered its personnel to deliver consistent performance.

Sponsored Content

STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS 2014

Driving IT to Make an Impact: IDC

IT is being increasingly viewed as something which would help drive revenue rather than just another cost line-item.

Software-Defined Infrastructure: Forrester

Firms must invest in transforming infrastructure to eradicate complex infrastructure to keep pace with business needs.

Better Safe Than Sorry: PwC

Organizations should create a culture of security that starts with commitment of top executives and cascades to all employees and third parties.

New Skills for a New Era: Gartner

A new talent strategy is required—one that is a key part of the evolving IT strategy and one that focuses on a blend of business and modern IT skills.

The Rise and Growth of Big Data: Ernst & Young

Leading organizations are reaping rich rewards on their investment in big data even as competition struggles to keep pace.

SOCIAL MEDIA @ CW India
SIGNUP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER

Signup for our newsletter and get regular updates.