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      HCTS 2020 Panel Recap: The Future of Datacenter Networking and Interconnection


      Network is integral to the future of hybrid infrastructure solutions, but many companies are just coming to terms with the back-end complexity of how the latest networking technologies figure into the performance, reliability, scalability and visibility of their entire footprint.

      “When you introduce hybrid into the mix—and we all see that it is a trend that is accelerating—it’s just making the network more complex. And that’s the area where most enterprises have a skills gap,” said Jennifer Curry, INAP’s SVP, Product & Technology, at this month’s Hosting and Cloud Transformation Summit (HCTS), hosted by 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence.

      Curry discussed this topic and more on a panel entitled “The Future of Datacenter Networking and Interconnection” during week one of the event.

      Networking Needs and Customer Perceptions

      During the presentation and panel, hosts Craig Matsumoto and Mike Fratto, both 451 Research senior research analysists, shared how customers are looking for direct connection to public cloud and interconnection from their colocation providers. Furthermore, interconnection services were deemed as a high-priority ask for colocation clients in the context of COVID-19.

      Colocation Provider Offerings

      While there is a need for a strong network, enterprise understanding in this area is often lacking. Curry noted that interconnection and network design are the foundation of a successful hybrid environment, but it is easy for people to not think about network, as it is often bundled with a solution from a provider. Behind those solutions, however, network engineers are working hard to make everything work as it should, creating a skills gap in this area within the enterprise.

      Despite this gap, recognition that this hybrid world is making the network more complex is on the rise. Traditional networking requirements are still top of mind—performance, reliability, scalability, visibility—but customers have to account for them across multiple platforms and providers. In 451 Research’s Voice of the Enterprise survey, participants named “high complexity” as the biggest pain point related to networking.

      Networking Pain Point

       

      Giving Network Control Back to the Enterprise

      With this complexity comes several pitfalls associated with giving control of the network back to enterprise end users. Curry specifically noted the careful balance between cost control and performance, especially with the on-demand nature of the current infrastructure landscape.

      “There’s still a lot of focus on cost. If you start to get into the on-demand nature, and you have these tools at the ready that allow you to rapidly scale or have some control over peak usage, the next thing you know, you get a bill where the sprawl is 2-3 times what you thought it was going to be,” she said.

      Providers will have to work to get customers comfortable with forecasting their network usage and be able to translate that into the appropriate management. Curry found it interesting that, in the first slide shared above, interconnection and connectivity were top of mind for many participants, but only 26 percent were thinking about network management.

      “The easier you make it for customers to make changes, the more you introduce some of that variability that maybe they’re not thinking about,” Curry said.

      With a hyper-focus on cost optimization, enterprises can get themselves into situations where they may unintentionally starve some areas of the network. Or, conversely, the costs might skyrocket. Curry noted there are a number of unknowns as self-management tools become more prevalent.

      “There are a lot of pitfalls, as well as a lot of opportunity as you get into self-management,” she concluded.

      How Network Figures into 5G and COVID-19

      In an interview with the INAP ThinkIT blog after the session, Curry shared additional information on how network has and will continue to be impacted by 5G and COVID-19 demands.

      The 5G revolution is going to impact multi-tenant data centers (MTDC). Curry noted that 5G spending is predicted to double from 2019 – 2020, but there is still uncertainty around what 5G means to all aspects of infrastructure.

      “For data centers, there are the ‘known’ changes that will have to take place, including upgrades and changes to routers, switching, etc.” Curry said. “There is an expectation of changes coming to SDN and NFV (network functions virtualization), but the extent is unknown. There is a breaking point in transporting data from the edge to central data centers, and this is where the MTDC will need to evolve.”

      The COVID-19 pandemic has also had an impact on NaaS/on-demand network. Curry stated that while many businesses support remote working, an overnight pivot to full remote workforces further highlighted the need for flexibility and scale in all parts of the infrastructure.

      “Some verticals experienced almost overnight saturation of their infrastructure as the daily usage model was completely altered,” Curry said. “And security, while always a priority, resurfaced again as the enterprise was forced to take a new look at the ways their users interact with the systems and data.”

      Simplify Your Hybrid Infrastructure with INAP

      Networking is an essential element of any successful hybrid strategy, but the complexity doesn’t have to burden your team.

      Cut through the complexity and get the performance, reliability, scalability and visibility you need with INAP’s network solutions. Take advantage of our 90+ points of presence, 27 public cloud-on ramps, route-optimized IP transit and global high-speed backbone. To top it off, our experienced solution engineers will design right-sized data center and networking solutions for unique needs.

      INAP Network

      Explore INAP’s Global Network.

      LEARN MORE

      Laura Vietmeyer


      READ MORE



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      HCTS 2020 Panel Recap: The Future of Datacenter Networking and Interconnection


      Network is integral to the future of hybrid infrastructure solutions, but many companies are just coming to terms with the back-end complexity of how the latest networking technologies figure into the performance, reliability, scalability and visibility of their entire footprint.

      “When you introduce hybrid into the mix—and we all see that it is a trend that is accelerating—it’s just making the network more complex. And that’s the area where most enterprises have a skills gap,” said Jennifer Curry, INAP’s SVP, Product & Technology, at this month’s Hosting and Cloud Transformation Summit (HCTS), hosted by 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence.

      Curry discussed this topic and more on a panel entitled “The Future of Datacenter Networking and Interconnection” during week one of the event.

      Networking Needs and Customer Perceptions

      During the presentation and panel, hosts Craig Matsumoto and Mike Fratto, both 451 Research senior research analysists, shared how customers are looking for direct connection to public cloud and interconnection from their colocation providers. Furthermore, interconnection services were deemed as a high-priority ask for colocation clients in the context of COVID-19.

      Colocation Provider Offerings

      While there is a need for a strong network, enterprise understanding in this area is often lacking. Curry noted that interconnection and network design are the foundation of a successful hybrid environment, but it is easy for people to not think about network, as it is often bundled with a solution from a provider. Behind those solutions, however, network engineers are working hard to make everything work as it should, creating a skills gap in this area within the enterprise.

      Despite this gap, recognition that this hybrid world is making the network more complex is on the rise. Traditional networking requirements are still top of mind—performance, reliability, scalability, visibility—but customers have to account for them across multiple platforms and providers. In 451 Research’s Voice of the Enterprise survey, participants named “high complexity” as the biggest pain point related to networking.

      Networking Pain Point

       

      Giving Network Control Back to the Enterprise

      With this complexity comes several pitfalls associated with giving control of the network back to enterprise end users. Curry specifically noted the careful balance between cost control and performance, especially with the on-demand nature of the current infrastructure landscape.

      “There’s still a lot of focus on cost. If you start to get into the on-demand nature, and you have these tools at the ready that allow you to rapidly scale or have some control over peak usage, the next thing you know, you get a bill where the sprawl is 2-3 times what you thought it was going to be,” she said.

      Providers will have to work to get customers comfortable with forecasting their network usage and be able to translate that into the appropriate management. Curry found it interesting that, in the first slide shared above, interconnection and connectivity were top of mind for many participants, but only 26 percent were thinking about network management.

      “The easier you make it for customers to make changes, the more you introduce some of that variability that maybe they’re not thinking about,” Curry said.

      With a hyper-focus on cost optimization, enterprises can get themselves into situations where they may unintentionally starve some areas of the network. Or, conversely, the costs might skyrocket. Curry noted there are a number of unknowns as self-management tools become more prevalent.

      “There are a lot of pitfalls, as well as a lot of opportunity as you get into self-management,” she concluded.

      How Network Figures into 5G and COVID-19

      In an interview with the INAP ThinkIT blog after the session, Curry shared additional information on how network has and will continue to be impacted by 5G and COVID-19 demands.

      The 5G revolution is going to impact multi-tenant data centers (MTDC). Curry noted that 5G spending is predicted to double from 2019 – 2020, but there is still uncertainty around what 5G means to all aspects of infrastructure.

      “For data centers, there are the ‘known’ changes that will have to take place, including upgrades and changes to routers, switching, etc.” Curry said. “There is an expectation of changes coming to SDN and NFV (network functions virtualization), but the extent is unknown. There is a breaking point in transporting data from the edge to central data centers, and this is where the MTDC will need to evolve.”

      The COVID-19 pandemic has also had an impact on NaaS/on-demand network. Curry stated that while many businesses support remote working, an overnight pivot to full remote workforces further highlighted the need for flexibility and scale in all parts of the infrastructure.

      “Some verticals experienced almost overnight saturation of their infrastructure as the daily usage model was completely altered,” Curry said. “And security, while always a priority, resurfaced again as the enterprise was forced to take a new look at the ways their users interact with the systems and data.”

      Simplify Your Hybrid Infrastructure with INAP

      Networking is an essential element of any successful hybrid strategy, but the complexity doesn’t have to burden your team.

      Cut through the complexity and get the performance, reliability, scalability and visibility you need with INAP’s network solutions. Take advantage of our 90+ points of presence, 27 public cloud-on ramps, route-optimized IP transit and global high-speed backbone. To top it off, our experienced solution engineers will design right-sized data center and networking solutions for unique needs.

      INAP Network

      Explore INAP’s Global Network.

      LEARN MORE

      Laura Vietmeyer


      READ MORE



      Source link

      GDC 2019 Recap: 5 Takeaways and Headlines from the Show Floor


      The 2019 Game Developers Conference (GDC), held last week in San Francisco, welcomed an estimated 20,000-plus developers, gamers, publishers and tech vendors from across the globe. From the tech driving the future of gaming to the industry’s most prevalent conversations and trends, here are five takeaways and headlines from the 13th annual show.

      Compared to consumer-oriented conferences like E3 and the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), GDC hasn’t traditionally been well-known for its headline-generating announcements. That wasn’t the case this year, as Google generated major buzz with the official introduction of its cloud gaming platform, Stadia.

      According to Google, Stadia will be capable of streaming AAA titles from its cloud platform straight to any device through the Chrome browser—no console required. This service is slated to launch later this year into a market that’s already been heating up; Amazon and Microsoft are both expected to release their offerings later this year as well.

      With established services like PlayStation Now and emerging cloud-based gaming solutions like the high-end gaming computer Shadow, an INAP customer that launched in the U.S. last year, the race for cloud gaming dominance seems like it will be one of the biggest stories to watch in 2019 and beyond.

      Infrastructure and network performance for multiplayer games was a dominant theme throughout the full week of conference sessions. Designing, scaling and securing infrastructure, all while minimizing latency, remains an ever-evolving, persistent challenge for studios and developers.

      All the major cloud players were on hand to pitch their gaming-specific infrastructure and network solutions, but hyperscale cloud was not the only infrastructure solution with a compelling online gaming use case.

      Less than two months after the hugely successful launch of Apex Legends, Respawn Entertainment and its server hosting partner Multiplay provided a behind-the-scenes look at how a bare metal-first strategy helped the game scale from 5 million players in its first three days to 50 million players in its first full month.

      “Multiplayer game launches should be boring, operationally at least,” said Larry Rye, lead solutions engineer at Multiplay. “The last thing you should worry about is game servers.”

      Rye explained that Multiplay prioritized allocation of Apex Legends sessions to bare metal servers to optimize both performance and keep costs down, moving game instances to the public cloud only when all dedicated servers were at capacity.


      LEARN MORE

      Bare metal is well-suited to these kinds of demanding gaming applications, where speed and performance are paramount. For more information about the infrastructure behind some of your favorite games, take a look at our recent blog post covering what a high-performance, built-for-gaming bare metal deployment looks like (and why INAP’s bare metal and colocation can give you an edge because they’re plugged into our robust network and our proprietary, automated route optimization engine Performance IP).

      The global esports market is set to reach $1 billion in 2019, and unsurprisingly, the still-young industry was a popular topic all week at GDC. Roughly a dozen conference sessions took aim from all angles: from improving the quality of online tournaments and governance of collegiate esports programs to career development tips and live audience engagement tactics.

      Doug Higgins, co-founder of Sapphire Ventures, spoke about the ways esports are likely to be monetized in the years to come.

      “You need to have a diversified revenue stream,” he said. “Comparing esports to traditional sports, three revenue streams are already pretty established—sponsorships, broadcasting rights and match day revenue.”

      To increase investor confidence, however, Higgins expressed the need for esports to develop more solid constructs around how leagues will function at all levels.

      “It’s to everyone’s benefit if esports is done the right way,” he concluded.

      GDC is a perennial draw for indie developers and studios, serving up a variety of hands-on showcases (including a Shark Tank-style game pitch competition). The popular alt.ctrl.GDC returned for its sixth year, featuring 20 creative, accessible and immersive uses of alternative controllers in original games.

       

      The 21st Independent Games Festival Awards, held Wednesday, honored an impressive and diverse array of titles. Return of the Obra Dinn, a beautifully illustrated murder mystery adventure by Papers, Please developer Lucas Pope, won both the Seamus McNally Grand Prize and the award for Excellence in Narrative. All IFG titles were playable on the exhibition floor.

      In other noteworthy news for aspiring developers, Epic Games, developer of Fortnite, announced a $100 million mega-grant for developers, artists and creators using Unreal Engine. Individual grants will range from $5,000 to $500,000 and recipients will retain rights to their work.

      Several highly attended sessions focused on the role of developers in building both games and gaming communities that are healthy, accessible and inclusive.

      Psychologist Celia Hodent, author of The Gamer’s Brain: How Neuroscience and UX Can Impact Video Game Design, spoke about ethics in the gaming industry, particularly the need for developers to treat issues like addiction and manipulative monetization practices with care, using the latest scientific research as a guide.

      Referencing the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s plans to hold workshops on the use of loot boxes in games, Hodent encouraged attendees “to address it before we get regulations on it.” Specifically, she recommended studios and publishers avoid using the loot box mechanics in games rated “Teen” and “Everyone” and restrict third-party marketplaces where digital loot can be sold.

      Challenges and opportunities for improvement aside, the gaming industry and its influence in society have arguably never been stronger.

      Roger Altizer, associate director of the Entertainment Arts and Engineering program at University of Utah, showcased a litany of research detailing the many ways video games can improve one’s physical and psychological health, as well as contribute to culture in ways that transcend passive entertainment.

      “Folks love talking about negative aspects of games,” he told attendees. “Instead, we need to start from the assumption that games are good for you.”

      Interested in learning more about INAP?

      Contact us today

      Josh Williams


      Josh Williams is Vice President of Solutions Engineering. His team enables enterprises and service providers in the design, deployment and management of a wide range of data center and cloud IT solutions. READ MORE





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