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Federal IT Leaders: Explore the Shift from Data Centers to Centers of Data

By Dolan Sullivan, Vice President of Federal at HPE Aruba Networking (Retired)

Shifting workloads and applications to the cloud has driven agility and efficiency across Federal agencies. As a result what was once the traditional data center is evolving to span across on-premises facilities, secure colocation, and FedRAMP-certified cloud services.

The next action is at the edge.

Edge computing puts the power closest to where it’s needed—in the field, a military base, or an office building, for starters—to support real-time actions or rapid decision making. Data-driven services, backed by smart sensors and real-time analytics, are increasingly essential to patrol our borders, optimize building environments, keep equipment operating and drive autonomous vehicles—and much, much more.

A Shift to Centers of Data

Edge computing is rising across the public and private sector. In fact, IDC predicts that 70% of organizations will run processing at the edge by 2023, and more than half of new enterprise IT infrastructure will be allocated to edge environments.

At Aruba, we are on the forefront of evolution from data centers to centers of data. We also believe that as more processing is performed closest to where it’s needed, the network must be more flexible, scalable, and secure than ever before. It’s time to break down the silos and break away from legacy technologies.

A Flexible Network Fabric from Edge to Cloud

A consistent network fabric across all centers of data—across the WAN, in administrative offices and military bases, private data centers, and in the field—provides simplicity and efficiency. Automated IT operations are equally critical to streamline work and deliver optimized service levels.

Aruba recently introduced new data center network solutions, including new Aruba CX series switches and Aruba Fabric Composer, designed to power these centers of data—from the edge to the cloud.

With Aruba, agencies can create a modern, flexible network fabric and free themselves from the constraints of legacy three-tier data center architectures. Multiple CX series switches operate as a single fabric in a spine-leaf architecture, allowing greater scale and agility. Operational simplicity is further enabled by our cloud-native network operating system, AOS-CX, enabling identical operation across all our CX series switch models, whether deployed in a data center, campus or on the edge.

EVPN-VXLAN capabilities in AOS-CX allow Layer 2 connectivity to be extended over the existing physical network in a way that’s more agile, scalable, and secure than with legacy three-tier architectures. EVPN-VXLAN provides virtual connectivity between different Layer 2/3 domains, enabling workload mobility across centers of data wherever they are located. Plus, EVPN-VXLAN is an open-standards technology so your agency won’t get locked into proprietary network protocols.

Aruba’s new orchestration software makes it simpler to provision and manage the network—from the data center core to the edge. Aruba Fabric Composer speeds the provisioning of Aruba CX series switches in the network fabric, and simplifies operations and troubleshooting.

Embrace Agility from Edge to Cloud

Whether to support mission operations, enable a safe return to the office, or increase operational efficiency, the ability to process and act on data is more important than ever. Aruba gives Federal IT teams more choice and agility to power these centers of data, from the edge to the cloud.

Key Aruba CX series switches are listed on the DoDIN Approved Products List (APL). The Aruba CX 8400 switch is ideal for data center core applications, and Aruba CX 8325 is ideal for top-of-rack (leaf) and aggregation or spine deployments. The new Aruba CX 8360 switches are ideal for top-of-rack, distributed and edge data centers. Additional Aruba CX switches will be added to the DoDIN APL as well as meeting a broad variety of other Federal mandates, including FIPS 140-2 and Common Criteria.

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