Data Center Interconnect: Details, Challenges & Solution
The ever-increasing demand for the data-center and network virtualization has its ramifications on the data center interconnect (check out Cloud Cover). It has gained the attention of the service provider’s network architecture making them think in the direction of load-sharing and distributed workloads. It has also become a way to connect various data centers in the cloud using SDN to allocate resources as per the requirement, automatically.
There was a time when data center interconnect (DCI) used to be simple. But due to the many technological advances and the availability of various options, there is a lot of confusion in the market. First, let’s take a look at the data center interconnect market:
Intra-Connections-The intra data center interconnect refers to all the connections within the data center. They can be within one building, or between data-center buildings within the campus. The connections may be at a distance of meters to few kilometers.
Inter-Connections-These refer to the connections that are between the 10km-80km range. Undoubtedly, the connections may be far apart, but inter-data center connectivity market is focused within this range.
There are data centers situated to serve the entire continent and there are others focused in a specific metro area.
Case-Study (Online Retailer)
You are a global retailer, and you might have several thousand transactions running in a second. When the data center is far away, the data is more secure from the various natural disasters. But, then there is a challenge that comes with greater distance. The transactions that are in-flight may get lost due to latency.
So for online transactions, there is a local data center (primary data-center), and the other is a secondary data center that’s almost 80Km away. The benefits, in this case, are dual. First, your transactions will not be affected by the distance and the data is secure. Second, none of the transactions are lost due to latency. So in the worst case, only a small number of transactions might get affected or lost.
The traffic may be within data-centers, or between two data-centers for the load-balancing. Now the two important traffic categorization:
- East-West Traffic: The traffic between data-centers is referred as East-West.
- North-South: The traffic to the user is referred to North-South.
Which DCI Challenges Have To Be Overcome?
There are many challenges that have to be overcome. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Distance: The DCI applications vary greatly in size and scope in response to the data centers that may be dispersed across the globe or metro area or around a country. So it becomes critical to carry most of the bits farthest, but when the distance increases the latency increases as well. While choosing shortest route may minimize latency, bad equipment may also lead to latency.
Connection Capacity: The data centers store and deliver applications. The datasets that are coming in a data-center or leaving it may be very large. The range may vary from few hundred Gigabits to Terabits. To handle such large data, the equipment should offer reliable and high-capacity connections. It’ll make sure that they may quickly scale to address the spikes in traffic.
Data Security: Data centers store a large amount of critical information. It demands that the data center connections are reliable, safe, and encrypted to avoid costly breaches and also data losses. While the security of stored data is crucial, what’s more, crucial is the security of in-flight data.
Automated Operations: As we know, manual operations may be labor-intensive, complicated, slow and may be error-prone as well. So it is very much imperative that complexity and lower speed of connection that arises out of manual operations may be minimized by moving towards automation. It shouldn’t take much time to establish a connection between data-centers and shouldn’t require on-going manual operations.
Rising Costs: When a large stream of data enters and leaves the data-center, it should be carried out in the most cost-efficient manner. If the data centers remain viable, the costs shouldn’t rise in the same way as the bandwidth. To take care of these issues, the solutions in high-speed networking should offer a solution that connects data centers at the lowest cost per bit.
Finally, Solution to Look Forward
Cloud cover is a solution that provides reliable and affordable connectivity to leverage your data center and cloud investments.
- 45 data centers with a high capacity fiber
- Zero latency access to AWS & Other CSPs
It is also carrier neutral with the presence of significant operators within the data center. The settlement comes at a low price that fits the budget of small to large scale businesses.