Tooling up for the new data center

Research analyst Andreas Antonopoulos identifies best-of-breed tools for the next-generation data center.

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Juniper's DX application acceleration platforms offload core networking and I/O responsibilities from Web and application servers to increase the performance of Web applications without adding server capacity. They also simplify and improve data center architectures by obviating numerous point products.

With Juniper DX application acceleration platforms, time to access business-critical applications is typically cut in half, which can mean a dramatic boost in application usability and acceptance - especially for remote and branch office users.

The DX platforms optimize and compress all outgoing Web data in real time without adding latency.

Content fidelity is maintained, bandwidth use is dramatically reduced and users experience faster page loads regardless of their location or network connection. The DX platforms also increase the capacity of applications by serving as a transaction broker, managing all connections and requests between servers and users. The DX platforms maximize available server and network resources, freeing server CPU for other tasks and yielding up to a tenfold increase in server/application capacity.

The DX application acceleration platforms also feature integrated security functionality, such as an internal firewall functionality and support for one-way or end-to-end SSL.

Runner-up: Cisco ONS Data-Center interconnect

The Cisco ONS 15500 Series is designed for carrying mission-critical storage and data applications over a highly available metro optical DWDM network. This is suitable for metro data mirroring between a primary and secondary data center. The ONS 15400 series is suitable for greater distances and data center interconnect to a disaster-recovery site over SONET/SDH.

Beyond the four pillars

These four disciplines are the pillars of the data center. But they're not the only components about which architects should be concerned. Security, cuts across all of the core disciplines and affects many aspects of data center design and operations. Security encompasses three primary data-centric goals:

  • Confidentiality - Authorized parties can access only ensuring data.

  • Integrity - Authorized parties can modify only ensuring data.

  • Availability - Ensuring data and applications are not disrupted (intentionally or unintentionally).

Furthermore, all of the above disciplines bring the parallel transformational trends of consolidation, standardization, virtualization and utility.

Clearly, data centers encompass many different technologies. Each company may rank the various disciplines differently, representing different organizational cultures and business goals. The core disciplines and associated trends, however, provide a coherent framework for discussing data centers.

Antonopoulos is senior vice president, founding partner of Nemertes Research, and writes Network World's New Data Center newsletter. He can be reached at

NDC tools at a glance

Nemertes Research looked at 120 products to devise this list of helpful tools for the new data center.


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Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

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