Considerations for Future-Proofing Infrastructure: Resiliency, Security, Performance

This week, we continue our special report series exploring how high-speed fiber networks can future-proof distributed data centers. Last week, we looked at how market dynamics are driving IT leaders to evolve their data processing strategies. This week, we’ll explore why IT leaders should look at resiliency, security, and performance when thinking around future-proofing infrastructure. 

future-proofing infrastructure

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With the pace of change only likely to quicken in the future, IT leaders should begin thinking now about how they can future-proof their infrastructure. Here are some of the factors they should take into account.

Resiliency

Distributed architectures inherently have more points of failure than centralized ones. Enterprises will want to build backups into every point in the value chain so that workloads can be shifted to alternative regions or between on-premises and cloud destinations. Cloud services present some attractive new opportunities in this area.

Workload portability will become an increasingly critical issue as processing becomes more distributed.

By taking a standards-based approach to infrastructure deployment and making extensive use of virtualization and software container technology, IT organizations can gain the maximum flexibility to choose where data is processed and managed. Use open-source technologies where possible and exercise caution about becoming dependent on platforms that are tied too closely to individual cloud providers.

At a time when ransomware attacks are growing dramatically, continuous backup and disaster recovery are essential. There are many cloud-based data protection services that provide for continuous backup and rapid data restoration across on-premises and cloud infrastructure as well for software-as-a-service.

Security

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the weaknesses of perimeter-based security as virtual private networks were overloaded and employees flocked to cloud services often without adequate controls provided by the IT organization. Because hybrid work arrangements are likely to be with us for some time, CIOs need to rethink security practices across the organization.

Zero trust security uses principles like cloud-based identity, access management and network segmentation to limit attack surfaces and contain threats.

Distributed architectures are inherently less secure than those inside the data center because they create new attack vectors. The use of encryption, both for data in motion and at rest, is table stakes. Organizations are also increasingly examining “zero trust” options that redefine access around users and applications rather than physical devices. Zero trust security uses principles like cloud-based identity, access management and network segmentation to limit attack surfaces and contain threats.

Performance

As the volume of digital transactions grows, organizations will need to put robust e-commerce foundations in place. IT leaders will need to rely on a network of cloud regions, co-location providers, content delivery networks, and telcos to speed customer interactions. This will introduce security, reliability, and latency issues that must be accounted for in infrastructure planning.

Performance demands go beyond transactions. As the use of data analytics grows, so do data sets, reaching petabyte-scale for some machine learning applications. Moving data volumes of that size on a timely basis will require substantial increases in bandwidth for most organizations.

Download the full report, Future-Proofing the Distributed Data Center with High-Speed Fiber Networks, courtesy of Belden, to learn more. In our next article, we’ll explore two additional considerations for IT leaders when future-proofing their infrastructure – cost and network topology. Catch up on the previous articles here and here

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