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February 2011 Vol. 2, No. 1

Rethinking data center network connectivity for new architectures

When Jeffrey Gray, Liberty Mutual’s director of network and communications operations, set out to interconnect three disparate data centers and begin provisioning applications on-demand from the storage area network (SAN) to remote users on the wide area network (WAN), he focused his network redesign on data center network connectivity starting with the outside connection going into the data center. While other IT managers in Gray’s position might start by grappling with server virtualization and centralization of applications, or by converging storage and data center networks, Gray decided that to make his private cloud work, he would first need to ensure speeds and feeds into the data center and make sure that each of the facilities were interconnected and functioning as one source. In order to achieve this data center network connectivity, his team first worked to standardize access into each of the data centers and interconnect them through a nationwide carrier-provided Ethernet network on which capacity could be spun up and...

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