Application Front End: The New Datacenter Architecture
by Robin Layland
Published March 2005; Posted June 2005




Datacenter consolidation and Web-centric computing’s goals of reducing the growth and cost of servers put new demands on networks. Network managers can no longer view consolidation as a “server” and “application” group problem. The success of consolidation projects increasingly depends on the network.


Additionally, end users are always seeking faster response time and demanding the network solve the problem. It is unacceptable for the network manager to deflect blame by pinning the problem on the application rather than the network. The fact is, the network can help solve the problem.


Finally, add to this mix the increasing creativity of hackers and attackers who put more pressure on the security of the datacenter. The servers can’t provide all the protection and security that’s needed; network managers must step in and help.


It is not enough to provide just the latest and fastest switch. Promising a 10-Gbps solution, while important, is not going solve the problem. A new network architecture is needed in the datacenter: A solution that meets the challenges of consolidation, fast response time and security while providing high availability, high throughput, flexibility, scalability and manageability.


Luckily a new architecture and class of products that provide it have recently emerged. The new solution is an Application Front End (AFE).


About the author:

Robin Layland is president of Layland Consulting.



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