As technology evolves and grows, we see an increasing need for data center architectures to be adaptable; specifically, they must evolve from the traditional, to be able to accommodate the rapid growth of cloud-based storage and compute services.
To accomplish this, and future-proof the data center to ensure the highest-speeds, it’s important to consider how data centers are designed – and how to redesign them for best efficiency.
For example, new, agile, and cloud-based designs are typically different from the traditional three-layer switching topologies, resembling “warehouse scale” facilities and designed to support a range of enterprise applications.
Leaf-spine architectures too, are helping designers to achieve an optimized path for server-to-server communication – these architectures are also able to accommodate additional nodes and higher line rates as the network grows. Typically referred to as the network “fabric”, the meshed connections between the leaf and spine switches allow applications on any compute and storage device to work together regardless of their location within the data center, in a scalable, predictable way.
So how is future-ready network fabric technology set to transform the data center?
Fabric networks that support cloud compute and storage systems are becoming the design choice for data centers today. Not only is network fabric well suited to establishing universal cloud services, but it also enables any-to-any connectivity with predictable capacity and lower latency which is crucial for data centers of the future.
Fabric networks can take several forms including:
For all uses, it’s important to consider how to design and implement the physical layer infrastructure to ensure that the switch fabric can scale easily and efficiently.
The fabric is advantageous because it has inherent redundancy, with multiple switching resources interconnected across the data center to help ensure better application availability. Meshed network designs also tend to be more cost-effective to deploy and scale when compared to traditional switching platforms.
Currently a combination of SWDM and WBMMF is the prevailing fiber technology in data centers and provides the opportunity to extend the use of multimode technology. Indeed, engineered solutions make complex fabric network design easy to design, implement and manage, while reducing deployment management time and cost.
You can find out more about data center technologies, challenges, architectures and solutions here.