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Switched Networks Vs. Dedicated Links
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joreilly925
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joreilly925,
User Rank: Ninja
6/12/2014 | 1:32:28 PM
Re: Good observations about links
There are no siewalls on these types of rack, so cabling can go round the front or through the cutouts on the frames. A cluster could be two, four or even more racks in size, with just a single switch hop to connect. Direct server-server links could be added too, but server vendors need to face up to needing more than two Ethernet ports.
MFelerski450
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MFelerski450,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/12/2014 | 1:23:26 PM
Re: Good observations about links
So basically you look at something along the line of "chaining" side by side racks, extending the backplane across each of them.  Then use SDN to manage/orchestrate it.
joreilly925
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joreilly925,
User Rank: Ninja
6/12/2014 | 12:25:05 PM
Re: Good observations about links
This may cause us to rethink the rack concept a bit. How about the double-rack (back to back) Verari sold, or tying adjacent racks in a container together as if they are one entity. This would increase local cluster size to make room for netwroked storage.
@mbushong
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@mbushong,
User Rank: Moderator
6/12/2014 | 12:13:38 PM
Re: Good observations about links
I agree that would be the implication. I suspect we end up in a place with lots of compute and storage in a rack with high-speed interconnects within the rack and then fast pipes between racks. It's certainly what Intel would want.

Mike Bushong (@mbushong)

Plexxi
joreilly925
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joreilly925,
User Rank: Ninja
6/12/2014 | 11:33:17 AM
Re: Good observations about links
The change in infrastructure you describe would impact the design of storasge appliances in a big way. They'll either need to be local in the racks, or have many really fast ports to move data to the inter-rack level.
@mbushong
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@mbushong,
User Rank: Moderator
6/12/2014 | 10:15:44 AM
Good observations about links
Interestingly, this is somewhat solved by some of the optical technologies. The ability to use L1 paths across infrastructure helps to get around some of the static nature of bandwidth. And if you combine dynamic pathing with an SDN controller, you can do things like load balancing, traffic engineering, and dynamic pathing to meet application requirements. 

I suspect that the real change that is happening (and has been for awhile) is that traffic is far more east-west than north-south at this point. The interconnect is almost more important than the uplinks. We should expect to see this interconnect happen at the rack level before long (big optic pipes between racks of recources). In this world, the traditional architectures get disrupted, along with the ecosystem of suppliers around those.

Mike Bushong (@mbushong)

Plexxi
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