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Modern data centers are undergoing a transformation. What used to be an environment focused on client/server technologies and a mixture of closed and open system server, storage and networking devices is changing from both an IT and workforce perspective.The new data center is focused around serving the unique needs of cloud computing, virtualization, automation and mobile computing. Much of this transition involves shifting away from a hardware-focused data center towards one now described as a software-defined-data-center (SDDC), which takes advantage of unique software-focused capabilities to help simplify the deployment, operation and management of devices in the data center. Organizations are embracing this transition toward software-based server and storage platforms, while also taking a closer look at the key underlying infrastructure that serves as the foundation for this modern data center – the network.This new Dell EMC guide, “The 5 Surprising Ways Server Technology is Advancing Software Defined Storage” describes how global storage array capacity is quickly migrating toward deployment on software-defined-storage (SDS) or hyper-converged platforms. One of the key observations in this guide is how the underlying server hardware plays a critical role in this migration. As you are investigating a migration to SDS, now is a good time to revisit your underlying network infrastructure to ensure they are optimized to work together and deliver against your SLAs.Modern data center networking solutions provide beneficial alternatives to older proprietary, closed networking systems that are costly to install and maintain. These new disaggregated “open networking” solutions give IT organizations a broader set of choices including high-performance, low-cost, fixed port switching platforms, a variety of network operating systems, highly efficient data center fabrics, and a wide selection of open source network automation and orchestration tools. These networking solutions empower you with the ability to implement the right technology and solutions that best meet your unique data center interconnectivity needs with platforms that also help lower cooling, power and footprint requirements. More importantly, these open networking solutions offer a variety of network virtualization technologies that can help you complete the vision of a SDDC with software-defined server, storage and network services. Disaggregation through open networkingAs you continue to investigate open networking solutions to ensure the success of your SDS migration, you should also take a closer look at the specific needs of the bandwidth hungry workloads and applications. If high-performance and quick response times are critical to your business, take a look at the latest offerings of 25GbE top-of-rack switches that offer 2.5x the bandwidth over existing 10GbE connections to servers and storage devices within the rack. However, if rack space is at a premium, then you can implement several new high-performance 1RU half-width switches that were specifically designed for SDS and hyper-converged environments.Dell EMC has been a leading supplier of open networking solutions for over four years and has built up a broad ecosystem of 3rd party OS, network virtualization and management application partners. We also offer a holistic approach to SDS solutions with industry-leading SDS offerings like VxRail, vSAN Ready Nodes and XC which integrate hardware, software and networking components from a single vendor.Open networking alternatives for HCI configurationsThere is a clear trend showing how the shift towards software-defined in data centers is gaining momentum, including SDSage. The clear benefits of cost savings, simplification and automation are helping to fuel this transition. When evaluating the server hardware choices and how they can help optimize SDS environments, it makes sense to also closely examine the underlying network infrastructure and change them together. Modern open networking solutions can help ensure the information flow both within your organization and with customers is optimal, while also helping to reduce expenses and increase efficiency. Dell EMC can help you with your migration to SDS with a broad selection of market-leading server, storage and open networking solutions combined with a global support and services organization.For additional information on Dell EMC Networking solutions, visit dell.com/networking.