As businesses’ digital needs grow and their IT environments become more complex, streamlining their data center operations becomes increasingly important. Network solutions for data centers offer this optimization.
Global spend on data center systems achieved $179 billion in 2020 and could rise to $237 billion by 2023, according to a recent study. With so much money pouring into these systems, companies need to make sure they’re making the most of their investments. If not optimized, it can result in costly downtime, slow speeds, lost customers, and security threats.
Data center networking solutions help manage resources through load balancing, analytics, software-defined networking (SDN), and other technological enhancements.
These seven case studies show that these managed services enable more automation, uptime, security and more.
T-Systems is one of the world’s largest suppliers of digital services and produced telecom solutions for many of the Fortune 100. As the company expanded, it needed to consolidate and simplify its data center infrastructure while scaling its performance and availability.
Before partnering with Jupiter Networks for data center networking, T-Systems had 45 separate data centers around the world. After implementing Jupiter’s solutions, the company was down to 11.
Reducing the IT proliferation was just the first step on the way to networking T-Systems’ data centers. They also needed to deliver more services and availability with fewer systems, requiring a departure from traditional data center architecture. Software-defined networking and automation proved to be the key to overcoming this challenge.
With an SDN system and an automation platform, T-Systems was able to balance the network requirements more quickly and efficiently. These technologies gave T-Systems’ data centers the ability to predict and adapt to changing demand while minimizing hardware resources.
Network solution for data centers: Juniper Networks
- Reduced global data centers from 45 to 11
- Significantly improved network performance and reliability
- Enabled new digital services like multicloud
kaleida health, the largest healthcare provider in western New York, treats more than a million patients annually in five hospitals. As the medical industry became increasingly digitized, Kaleida’s IT infrastructure quickly became outdated and inadequate.
With 13,000 users and 30,000 endpoints, Kaleida needed a sizeable data center solution in 2019. Some of the vendor’s existing systems had also been in use for over a decade. An upgrade was critical, but at this scale it would be costly, so Kaleida needed to find the most cost-effective solution possible.
Automation was an ideal step forward as it immediate return on investment (ROI) through improved efficiency and error reduction. Cisco enabled this automation through an SDN solution that distributed resources between Kaleida’s two data centers. The use of more flexible, software-based resources also helped minimize costs while maximizing functionality.
Industry: health care
Network solution for data centers: Cisco
- Reducing technology costs by millions of dollars per year
- Improved IT infrastructure monitoring, management, security and automation
- Enabled the creation of an innovation center to test new health technologies
Volkswagen financial services
Volkswagen is one of the most recognizable names in the auto industry, and its financial management subsidiary is similarly massive. VW financial services provider operates in 48 markets and manages more than 16,000 employees, so there is a lot of data to process.
As consumers became more accustomed to digital services, Volkswagen knew it had to go digital fast. This included flexible payment options and a faster, fairer application process.
Volkswagen had three main concerns for its new contract management platform: flexibility, availability and security. The company also faced strict privacy regulations from the German government. VMware, the data center networking provider, met these needs by transitioning the company to a more agile, secure container-based environment.
Containers provide more organization and transparency than other cloud environments, helping VW meet its regulatory and security requirements. Using a managed service provider for data center operations also gave him the efficiencies needed to focus on his growing clientele.
Industry: financial management
Network solution for data centers: Vmware
- Enabled the creation of a new digital contract management platform
- Simplified data protection compliance
- Provides the flexibility to expand into new markets
St. Mary’s College of Maryland
The networking of data centers can also help companies in completely different industries. For example, the education sector manages huge amounts of data in large and distributed environments. St. Mary’s College of Maryland, with around 1,700 students and rapidly growing digital infrastructure, turned to data networking to help in this area.
SMCM uses virtual infrastructure across its campus to meet the changing needs of different departments and students. This allows for greater flexibility and lower maintenance costs, but also requires complex network considerations and can raise reliability concerns.
Data center networking solutions allow SMCM to take advantage of newer hardware and automate network management tasks. As a result, they can balance loads and allocate resources more effectively to ensure each department gets what it needs with minimal effort. The new network architecture also helps eliminate vulnerabilities that would jeopardize uptime.
Network solution for data centers: data networks
- Replaced legacy equipment to better support virtual infrastructure and allow for future growth
- Eliminating single points of failure, increasing availability
- Significant increase in virtual machine throughput
Kansas City International Airport
Airports face similar challenges to universities in terms of data volume and network complexity. As a result, companies like Kansas City International Airport can also use data center networks to modernize their networks and provide value to their customers.
Before KCI turned to data center networking, KCI more than 50 physical servers on site, some of which were over a decade old. This aging, complex infrastructure led to heating and cooling problems and network inefficiencies, and passenger data was compromised by an ineffective backup system.
KCI virtualized much of its infrastructure through data center networks. This reduced energy and temperature-related concerns and made them easier to consolidate for easier management and automation. It also found it could test and deploy new tools faster, including a more reliable backup system. The airport could then ensure its systems run faster, more securely, and provide a better customer experience.
Network solution for data centers: Global Technology
- 95% of its servers virtualized
- Fixed local server temperature issues
- Enables rapid testing and deployment of applications
Raiffeisen Bank Romania
The financial sector is another industry that has significant concerns about data security and network availability. The Romanian Raiffeisen Bank manages two million customers and 5,000 employees however, faced a significant challenge in delivering efficient, leading-edge digital services. Data center connectivity was a crucial part of achieving this goal.
Raiffeisen needed to serve 650,000 digital customers through their online banking platform and support 400 locations and 900 ATMs. They implemented an SDN solution through their data center network provider to address these digital concerns.
The SDN response made it easier to manage changing requirements between banks’ different locations, digital platforms and ATMs. It also offered more scalability and allowed for easier future growth as Raiffeisen attracts more customers.
The centralization of SDN also enables greater security. When it’s easier to plan the network and isolate systems, it’s easier to find and respond to potential threats faster. Considering what cyberattacks are like more expensive in banking than in any other industry, which is a key advantage.
Network solution for data centers: data network
- 30% reduction in manual uptime
- Significantly reduced diagnosis and problem resolution time
- Eliminated human error vulnerabilities and simplified the network segmentation process to ensure higher security
Data center networking can also provide required upgrades for Industry 4.0 applications. AS Color, a clothing manufacturer operates in four countriesrealized that more reliable, higher performance wireless networks were needed to support digital transformation across all warehouses.
Industry 4.0 adoption typically means the implementation of connected devices and automated systems. These interconnected systems require fast, reliable, secure, and flexible wireless networks to reach their full potential, and data center networks provide that. SDN, virtualization, and network automation helped balance requirements and increase visibility to run these environments effectively.
AS Color now uses data center networks to monitor equipment performance in its warehouses and manufacturing centers. Virtualization enables IT staff to view ongoing network activity in real time from a central location and respond quickly to disruptions. Automation in the network enables automation in the factory, as adaptive network balancing allows AS Color to implement more interconnected, autonomous machines.
Network solution for data centers: Extreme networks
- High-capacity Wi-Fi 6 networks enabled better connectivity and automation, improving productivity
- Visibility across multiple facilities through a single window
- Reduced network risks through improved visibility and automation