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Step Up Performance With A Campus Network Upgrade
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Step Up Performance With A Campus Network Upgrade

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Changing traffic patterns and bandwidth-intensive workload demands make a convincing case for modernization. Standards-based switches enable IT organizations to easily add capacity and innovative …

Changing traffic patterns and bandwidth-intensive workload demands make a convincing case for modernization. Standards-based switches enable IT organizations to easily add capacity and innovative functionality into existing wired and wireless networks. Learn more: http://del.ly/StepUpPerformance

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  • 1. Reprinted from Dell Power Solutions, 2014 Issue 2. Copyright © 2014 Dell Inc. All rights reserved. Dell.com/powersolutions | 2014 Issue 02 45 Features C ampus networks form the backbone of the infrastructure essential for connecting multitudes of employee and guest devices to enterprise resources. Rising end-user expectations for a rich multimedia experience, increased mobility and seamless access to cloud services call for these networks to shoulder high-bandwidth, data-intensive traffic. However, many legacy campus networks are not designed to handle these intensifying demands, which can slow performance and add management complexity. To enhance workforce productivity and support guest access, IT professionals must help ensure secure, reliable, pervasive connectivity and performance for both wired and wireless aspects of the campus network. An outdated campus network may lack the requisite capacity and capability to support strategic IT initiatives, compromising efforts to respond quickly to emerging business opportunities. Telltale signs when it is time to modernize Adding momentum to the shift toward mobile devices is the introduction of the IEEE 802.11ac wireless networking standard. Also known as Gigabit WiFi, 802.11ac enables users to experience similar data transfer speeds whether connected by wire or by radio signal. Moreover, this growing reliance on mobile devices is accelerating the need for additional wireless access point connections, while Changing traffic patterns and bandwidth-intensive workload demands make a convincing case for modernization. Standards-based switches enable IT organizations to easily add capacity and innovative functionality into existing wired and wireless networks. By Ted Curtin Step up performance with a campus network upgrade SamRobinson/Fitch
  • 2. 46 2014 Issue 02 | Dell.com/powersolutions Features Reprinted from Dell Power Solutions, 2014 Issue 2. Copyright © 2014 Dell Inc. All rights reserved. The Dell Networking N-Series is a family of energy-efficient and cost- effective Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) and 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) switches designed for easy deployment, outstanding interoperability and a quick learning curve for network administrators. conversely reducing the number of wired connections required. Even with the diminishing need for wired connections, the wired backbone is becoming overburdened trying to support today’s wireless reality. Users create network density issues as they roam the enterprise campus from building to building or floor to floor, and bandwidth overload may occur in different locations at different times — for example, when employees converge for a large meeting or flood into the cafeteria at lunchtime. Additionally, mismatches may occur when infrastructure and applications are updated unevenly. For example, users may connect at megabit speeds while accessing information optimized for gigabit connections. The data center or server room may have been updated to 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) or 40 Gigabit Ethernet (40GbE), whereas the campus core remains at Gigabit Ethernet (GbE). Are workers complaining about their connectivity? That’s typically the first sign of an outdated campus network. Another sign: IT spends too much time responding to help-desk requests, To enhance workforce productivity and the guest experience, IT professionals must help ensure secure, reliable, pervasive connectivity and performance for both wired and wireless aspects of the campus network. patching configurations and rebooting switches. Mergers, consolidation and organic expansion also can overwhelm network management and cause IT staff to fall behind on go-forward deployment and configuration demands. At the same time, IT budgets continue to be stretched, limiting network upgrade options. IT decision makers may find it easier to simply add another switch from an existing vendor instead of modernizing the network. Yet with demands on aging infrastructure intensifying, now may be the perfect opportunity to evaluate a multi-vendor approach. In particular, solutions based on open standards are designed to interoperate in existing networks and help lower acquisition, operating and licensing costs. Versatile switches that effectively scale network capacity and performance Organizations seeking to increase network performance and scalability can benefit from GbE or 10GbE switches that provide high throughput, high availability and simplified management for network administrators at all Switch hitters Dell Networking N2000 Series Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+)–capable GbE layer 2+ switches that provide advanced switching functionality. Dell Networking N3000 Series PoE+-capable, high- availability GbE switches that include layer 3 support for advanced routing protocols. Dell Networking N4000 Series High-performance, non- blocking 10GbE switches for layer 3 aggregation that feature advanced routing and switching protocols.
  • 3. Dell.com/powersolutions | 2014 Issue 02 47Reprinted from Dell Power Solutions, 2014 Issue 2. Copyright © 2014 Dell Inc. All rights reserved. skill levels. For ease of deployment, these switches also must support standards-based protocols and interfaces to proprietary protocols used in legacy equipment. Wherever an organization decides to begin updating, whether at the campus edge or the core, the Dell Networking N-Series family of GbE and 10GbE switches offers smart integration capabilities that enable the switches to fit easily into an organization’s current network. (For more information, see the sidebar, “Switch hitters.”) A single OS release — Dell Networking OS 6 — allows IT to maintain consistent configurations across all Dell Networking N-Series switches. Dell Networking OS 6 supports robust layer 2 switching and advanced routing functionality on layer 3 devices, with a comprehensive feature set that includes key interoperability, availability and redundancy capabilities. Reflecting the long-standing Dell commitment to open standards, Dell Networking OS 6 supports open-standard protocols designed to provide a high degree of interoperability with other vendor implementations. For example, the Dell Networking Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol (RSTP) Per-VLAN is the IEEE 802.1w standard implemented on individual virtual LANs (VLANs). It is designed to smoothly interface with the Cisco® Rapid Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (RPVST+) protocol, enabling seamless Dell Networking N-Series switch operation in Cisco-based networks. The multichassis link aggregation (MLAG) feature of Dell Networking OS 6 is designed to aggregate the bandwidth of redundant links across multiple Dell Networking switches. All links in an MLAG configuration can carry data traffic across a physically diverse topology, leading to increased bandwidth utilization. Moreover, this multipath capability minimizes disruption in case of a link or switch failure, leading to high network availability. To enable packet routing according to organizational policies, Dell Networking OS 6 includes policy-based routing on layer 3 devices. Policy-based routing provides a flexible mechanism to implement solutions in which organizational constraints dictate traffic routing through specific network paths. It does not affect route redistribution that occurs through routing protocols. Dell Networking N-Series switches can be deployed and managed from easy-to-use interfaces provided through Dell Networking OS 6. A command-line interface (CLI) is driven by well-known commands and syntax for advanced configuration. A graphical user interface (GUI) offers an alternative that helps organizations simplify deployments without needing to depend on specialized, highly trained resources. A practical way to stimulate enterprise development Applications such as video, unified communications and internal webcasts are boosting employee productivity and collaboration, but they also are straining the campus network. Users today need high bandwidth and flexible connectivity to help maximize their productivity, no matter where they are. Enterprises can no longer make do with bandwidth-starved campus networks that are complex to manage. Standards-based switches such as the Dell Networking N-Series enable IT organizations to add bandwidth and throughput quickly while reducing capital and operating expenditures. Dell Networking N-Series switches have been engineered and tested with numerous devices on the market to enable a high degree of interoperability, making them easy to deploy in existing campus environments. Author Ted Curtin is a senior advisor for the Dell Enterprise Solutions Marketing team. He has over 25 years of experience in data center sales, operations and marketing. Learn more Dell Networking for the campus: qrs.ly/kx41rmh Dell Networking OS 6: qrs.ly/jx41rmi Dell is a trademark of Dell Inc. Standards-based switches such as the Dell Networking N-Series enable IT organizations to add bandwidth and throughput quickly while reducing capital and operating expenditures.