Data center networking is the integration of a constellation of networking resources — switching, routing, load balancing, analytics, etc. — to facilitate the storage and processing of applications and data.
Modern data center networking architectures leverage full-stack networking and security virtualization platforms that support a rich set of data services connecting everything from VMs, containers, and bare metal applications while enabling centralized management and granular security controls.
This model of data center networking represents a significant shift from the standard networking model in data centers not long ago. From on-premises physical servers, to virtualized infrastructure, to an integrated edge-to-cloud model of networking and security that is present wherever apps and data live, data center networking has evolved greatly in a short time.
A modern data center networking platform runs all network services required to support traditional enterprise applications entirely in software, enabling the automation of what were previously manual and error-prone provisioning tasks. It also makes possible capacity planning, security policy planning, and network troubleshooting. When applications are decommissioned, the networking platform handles de-provisioning policies associated with that application, which prevents the sprawl of stale policies that would otherwise degrade manageability, security, connectivity, and compliance.