One of the things about data centres is that just like human beings they need to keep up with the times. That means continual investment in the fabric, infrastructure and the technology within them.
At iomart we continue to invest in ensuring that we can provision cloud services quickly and efficiently for our customers and one of the things we have done to enable that to happen is to create one of the first Software-Defined Data Centres in the UK.
As a result of a multi-million pound investment our Maidenhead DC has been transformed into a data centre that provides next generation levels of delivery for our customers.
If you look at pictures of older data centres, the backs of racks are often a tangle of cables which have been physically plugged in to servers. This way of provisioning services is time consuming and complicated. Now, by using Software Defined Network technology, we have removed that barrier.
The transformation of our Maidenhead data centre has just picked up another award – for Network Project of the Year (Private Sector) at the Network Computing Awards. But the benefits of the project are already being felt by our customers.
Richard McMahon, Group Head of Technical Operations for iomart, explains, “Customers whose services have been provisioned via Maidenhead are already getting the benefits of higher performance and greater bandwidth.”
For the iomart management team using SDN in combination with a spine-leaf class multi-root network topology enables huge scalability within the data centre. Richard continues, “For instance our Vlan Limit is now 30,000, we can host scale to 300,000 virtual servers, there’s no spanning tree in the core, and we can provide any service in any rack through a single point of programming through the command software.”
Everything is done at the network layer so no matter where a customer’s servers are located they can still be connected. This was achieved by iomart being the first Cloud Service Provider to deploy Cisco Dynamic Fabric Automation and Bi Directional Transmission technology using Corning OM4 Fibre.
The deep dive into cloud services continues. What businesses want now is to be agile and to be able to access applications, infrastructure, and other IT resources on demand but within an environment of increased security and compliance.
Phil Worms, Chief Marketing Officer for iomart adds, “Our software-defined data centre provides us with faster ways of deploying services for our customers in a scalable and stable way. From one screen we can cater for every network requirement, for all types of business, and expand services as required.”
Providing self-service provisioning, whether in a private or public cloud, requires elastic scaling of computing, storage, and network resources, ideally from a common viewpoint and with a common suite of tools. The addition of SDN paves the way for the next generation of Cloud systems.
The empowering proposition for this new technology means iomart customers are already enjoying the fruits of a next generation technology that is still relatively new to our industry.
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