Speeds and Feeds – Are They Worth Talking About?
So everyone is saying “It’s all about the application”. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard that phrase in the past year from multiple large vendors. A huge part of most manufacturers’ current playbook is moving to a “software model” or recurring revenue model. All of the industry players are going there with their messaging. With the push for software and a focus on cloud or As a Service models, it begs the question as to if conversations around networking, processor, and storage speeds and feeds are a bygone.
For the short term, I believe they are for the average business; and well they should be. Moore’s Law has proven itself true. For those not familiar with Moore’s Law, it simply states that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits had doubled every year since their invention. There is a corollary law being floated now regarding cloud called “Bezos’ Law”. Bezos’s Law, named for Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, states that over the history of cloud a unit of computing power price is reduced by 50 percent approximately every three years. So what does this mean?
It means that compute/networking/storage power has increased to a point that you should not worry about it unless your infrastructure is local and more than 5 years out of date, you are hosting a private cloud, or are a provider of an As a Service platform It means your worries should not be on speeds and feeds outside of internet connectivity and its related quality of service. For example: there are now 18 core processors from Intel, we have 10 gig networking at reasonable price, and we have increasingly dense and competitive pricing in the SSD market (a la 3D cross point.)
So where should the average business focus? I would weigh in and say that you should focus on your users. Yes, your employees. You should be focusing on having applications that allow your employees to be productive by servicing your customers and allows them to collaborate effectively with them and one another. What does that require? Responsive physical network, wireless and internet service that will allow your people to access the applications and web services they need to their jobs. Most people think of e-mail and web traffic when they get to this. That thinking is outdated. You need to plan for critical services such as Voice, Video, Web Conferencing, Virtual Desktops, and IoT device data – just to name just a few. For sizing purposes you should plan for at least 100 Mbps of internet pipe per employee, Gig connectivity on your edge network and 10 gig connectivity for your core and data center if you are going to be leveraging any relatively new tech in your business. By the way, don’t forget QoS. It’s important! If you don’t know what QoS is, check out my thoughts on it.
Why this mini-rant on connectivity? We live in a connected world. Faster is getting cheaper, and very important. If you are not worried about proper connectivity for your business, both internally and to the internet, you’re going to pay both figuratively and literally down the road.
Noel Barber is a veteran of the IT industry and serves as the Vice President of Professional Services at ABS. In addition to staying on top of industry trends and changes, Noel works to ensure ABS continuously brings the best technology solutions to our clients.