Skip to content

Back to Glossary Home  | Data Center Networking

Data Center Networking

What is Data Center Networking?

Data center networking is the combination of the design, management, and implementation of network infrastructure at a data center, this may include switches, routers, load balancing, and other resources to make up the secure, efficient and available storage of data and applications in the data center. 

Why is Data Center Networking Important?

Data center networking is an aspect of data center operations, and it's important because  applications and services depend on strong networking to run well. Good networking can improve application performance, protect data from attacks, improve reliability, and reduce costs through efficiency and businesses require seamless connectivity to maintain productivity, revenue and reputation.

How Does Data Center Networking Work?

There are two main parts of a data center network - the core network and the access network.  

The core network, consisting of high-speed routers and switches, carries the heaviest traffic loads in the data center. The access network is responsible for connecting devices and contains switches and lower-speed routers.

What Are 5 Common Data Center Networking Components?

Common data center network components include routers, firewalls, switches, network monitoring tools, and load balancers. In addition to the data center infrastructure, inter and intra network connectivity is a key component of a full solution. 


Switches are used to connect devices together within a specific network such as servers and storage. This infrastructure should be designed to carry multiple protocols to accomodate storage traffic and ethernet traffic. Often called the Data Center Fabric, switches are often deployed in "Spine - Leaf" configurations. Each leaf switch connects to each spine switch creating a fully redundant fabric of low latency connectivity for network traffic traversing the Data Center. Servers and storage arrays are connected to leaf switches  allowing the spine switches to remain static. External network would also be connected to leaf switches. 


Routers connect networks together. They route customer traffic so that it gets to its intended destination and move traffic from one network to another. Firewalls block unauthorized traffic from reaching devices to protect networks. They also identify and allow access from authorized sources. Devices are connected within a network by switches, which work to forward data.  


Network outages can negatively impact the operations of a business. Network monitoring tools can help identify problems early before they turn into outages. They can also be used to monitor performance. Load balancers can keep individual servers from being overloaded by distributing traffic across multiple servers, improving the reliability of the network and boosting performance.

What is Data Center Networking Management?

Any tasks associated with maintaining or observing the network infrastructure in a data center to guarantee performance SLAs are met is part of data center networking management. Tasks can include making plans to scale the network, configuring and managing devices on the network, monitoring for performance and security concerns, troubleshooting issues that arise, planning the network, and implementing that plan.  

What is Data Center Networking Visualization?

Sometimes, it can be beneficial to create a visual representation of a data center. Data center networking visualization may be done to plan for future network growth or to help plan for the location of the data center, troubleshoot a network problem, identify potential security issues, or demonstrate regulatory compliance to stakeholders and regulating bodies. 3D modeling, data center management software, or network monitoring software may be used to visualize the network.

What Are the Benefits of Data Center Networking Solutions?

Different data networking solutions offer different benefits. Network virtualization can enable multiple virtual networks to run on one physical network, reducing costs and improving efficiency. Data center networking management can make networks more reliable by creating redundancies and planning for component failure. Firewalls and intrusion detection systems can improve data protection.  


Using a combination of data center networking solutions can help a business reach its strategic objectives and goals for performance, safety, and budget.


How TierPoint Can Help With Data Center Networking

TierPoint can help you optimize your network spend, improve your user experience, and ensure seamless connectivity through our IT network services. Our team of network engineers can help you determine which networking solutions are right for your business.

Related Services

Enhance your networking solutions and ensure consistent connectivity today.

Related Terms