Why building a modern datacentre is like searching for the perfect partner

Mark Pearce, Dell’s networking EMEA channel director, runs through what you should be offering your customers in the networking space, and explores what the future holds.

Building the modern data centre is a lot like searching for the perfect partner – but hopefully without all the messy break-ups and awkward meeting of the parents.

There are certain characteristics that you should strive for on behalf of your customers.

Systems such as Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network- Function Virtualisation (NFV) completely change the way that our data is processed and trafficked.

IDC has predicted that the worldwide SDN market for the enterprise and cloud service provider segments alone are forecast to grow from $360 million in 2013 to $4.7 billion by 2016. SDN and NFV decouple network functions and devices such as firewalling, intrusion detection, routers, caching, Domain Name Service (DNS) and others to offer a new way to design, deploy and manage networking services.

If you are able to condense the masses of information and advice available on SDN and NFV, and provide your customers with the best combination of the solutions on the market, they will definitely thank you for it.

Flash cache technology brings the most frequently accessed data closer to the server, thereby minimising data travel from storage to the server and making application performance faster. This is imperative to creating the speedy data centre of your customers’ dreams, and making sure that the data they need every day is at their fingertips the minute they switch on their computer or tablet.

As much as you wouldn’t want your other half to run up credit card bills on fancy dinners while you pinch pennies with meal deals, you should look to combine the best technology to optimise performance at the lowest price possible for your customer.

Combined, technologies such as open networking and NFV enable far greater efficiency.

By taking the time to understand your customers’ requirements to design a truly bespoke solution that fits with their future plans, channel partners are more likely to enter into a long term working relationship.

When entering into any new relationship, it makes sense to take time to think about the steps your customer should take before making their move.

Providing the relevant and key information and advice to your customers ensures that their time and investment pays off, and that in years ahead they will still be in a strong and stable position.

Mark Pearce is Dell’s EMEA networking channel director.

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