Much has been written on the challenges that face multi tenant data center operators with regards to balancing capacity and utilization for the facilities in which they invest.  An equally daunting challenge encompasses their ability to evolve their physical infrastructure after they have clients in place. 

We at CommScope reference Living Infrastructure as our approach to helping customers design, deploy and evolve their networks. It helps data center organizations meet their computing demands of today while providing a cost effective and smart migration path to upgrade their networks in the future.  This is most relevant to organizations that provide multi tenant data center services.  The complexity that is involved in managing a multi tenant environment with different networking architectures, bandwidth requirements, and service level agreements can be difficult to juggle and costly to implement if not well thought out.  I would like to offer a few thoughts for consideration.

Put The Effort Into a Good Design

Multi tenant data center providers have a unique challenge—infrastructure changes they make for a particular client must be done with minimal disruption and not cause problems with other tenant systems.  There are a number of tools available in the market (CommScope has a complimentary Design Guidefor example) that help designers think in terms of “Pods” (clusters of server and switch cabinets) that allow them to take a modular approach to the layout and use of mix media type throughout the facility.  The use of these tools allows designers to develop “what if” scenarios with regards to growth and changing technology architectures so they can make optimal decisions.  Due diligence on the design phase of infrastructure layout drives the ability and cost effectiveness of changes in the future.

There Are No One-Size-Fits-All Solutions

CommScope encourages customers to think in terms of an overall architecture that can include a combination of copper, fiber, and wireless based solutions that give the greatest degree of flexibility to meet the changing (and growing) needs of their data center facilities.  You may have read our blogs on topics such as 10GBASE-T, Network Intelligence, and Wireless solutions  that provide insight on where these technologies are going and how they may affect your business.  Regardless of vendor speak, it’s important to understand the current maturity and adoption of various technologies.  Then you can ensure you are deploying the most appropriate solutions needed for the business and not the ones that are only carried by specific vendors.

Evolve Your Network with a Strong Partner Ecosystem

Just as there needs to be a variety of solutions for the cabling infrastructure, multi tenant data center providers need to approach their overall network from a holistic approach.  The work we have engaged in with multi tenant data center providers show a wide variety of brands, technologies, and architectures used across different facilities.  Learn how vendors’ solutions can adopt to take advantage of newer technologies and bandwidth capabilities.  Additionally, understand what your future requirements are and how you can utilize different technologies from server, storage, switch and cabling vendors.  Making sure these different solutions can work in an integrated fashion ensures that multi tenant data center providers can provide the ability to quickly on-board new tenants and make needed changes in the future.

About the Author

David Oldenbuttel

David Oldenbuttel is Strategic Marketing Manager for the Enterprise division at CommScope. He has worked in the technology industry for the past 14 years in a variety of management and product marketing roles for firms such as IBM and Fujitsu. David has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Texas Tech University and an MBA from the University of Dallas.

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