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Many companies share the vision of effortlessly exchanging information and using it for faster, more flexible collaboration among their employees and with their partners and customers. However, typical enterprise networks are separated into standalone silos for different uses and departments, so it is difficult to support uncomplicated collaboration or flexible information sharing. Enterprise IT architects must overcome these limitations at the network and services level to reap the true benefits of unified communications.

The network needs to deliver a wide variety of reusable services to both users and applications. These include general services such as identity management, mobility, security, data storage and data processing, as well as specific services such as voice call control, data encryption, message logging and protocol translation. Using these network services, the IT staff can develop companywide tools and business processes for supporting multimedia collaboration among users and applications in an easy, scalable way.

Building a Service-Oriented Data Center
Service delivery must be simple, unencumbered by the need to accommodate different architectures, types of systems, protocols, operating systems, policies and boundaries. In a service-oriented data center environment, processing power, storage and communications are drawn from one big pool of resources only when needed. Hundreds or thousands of applications that are handling business processes for an entire enterprise can run from this central data center.

A data center model built on a service-oriented network architecture, or SONA, is a significant improvement on the typical data center environment, in which every application or department has its own dedicated group of servers, storage units and linkages --often comprising different hardware and software components. Servers sit in silos, chronically underused. Provisioning a new application can take months and is incredibly labor-intensive.

Conversely, in the service-oriented data center model, previously scattered and dedicated resources are housed in a single location. Data center administrators can automatically orchestrate all of the resources required by an application, so the application can be provisioned in a day or less. Resources are managed for optimal levels, reducing costs and ensuring guaranteed levels of availability.


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