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Brocade says super-fast broadband goal needs data centre focus

Tuesday, March 27th 2012
Data centres have an important role to play in the UK's drive for faster broadband, Brocade has said.
Brocade says super-fast broadband goal needs data centre focus
The government's drive to deliver the best super-fast broadband network in Europe needs to focus on data centres, according to global networking solutions provider Brocade.

Marcus Jewell, the company's UK manager, stressed that the goal of improving broadband performance is not simply a case of rolling out more fibre optic cables.

He compared the issue to the argument that building new roads simply creates more traffic.

The wider availability of fibre optic broadband will generate greater data consumption and demand for bandwidth-heavy applications such as video streaming, Mr Jewell insisted, all of which will place increased pressure on corporate networks and data centres.

Storage has become a more complex matter as a result of the growing use of virtualisation technologies, meaning that ensuring high speeds, availability and bandwidth is now at least as important as concentrating on the deployment of fibre-to-the-home broadband, he insisted.

"The government needs to wake up to the urgent need for technologies that do not slow connection speeds at source or we will risk creating the demand before having the infrastructure in place to cope," the Brocade chief said.

"We need a shift in focus from fibre, to the data centre, now."

Under the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition's broadband strategy, universal speeds of 2Mbps will be rolled out by 2015, by which time the UK will have Europe's best super-fast broadband network.

Earlier this year, broadband provider Zen Internet announced a £4 million investment in a purpose-built data centre at its headquarters in the north-west.

The 1,350 sq metre tier two facility, which will be fitted out with cutting-edge power and environmental management infrastructure, will help Zen to meet the increasing demand for hosting services from its existing customers.

Andrew Saunders, head of product management and marketing at the internet service provider, said the growing popularity of cloud computing means it has "never been more important" to ensure that vital applications are hosted in a dedicated data centre.

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