Interesting developments in the Data Center design. Data Centers and their efficiency – data and electrical – are rapidly coming to be the number on priority for IT design specialists:
Typically, computers are connected by a network architecture that consists of a “tree” of routing and switching elements regulated by specialized equipment, with expensive, non-commodity switches at the top of the hierarchy. But even with the highest-end IP switches and routers, the networks can only support a small fraction of the combined bandwidth available to end hosts. This limits the overall cluster size, while still incurring considerable costs. Application design is further complicated by non-uniform bandwidth among datacenter nodes, which limits overall system performance.
The UC San Diego researchers’ envision creating a datacenter that will have scalable interconnection bandwidth, making it possible for an arbitrary host in the datacenter to communicate with any other host in the network at the full bandwidth of its local network interface. Their approach requires no modifications to the end-host network interface, operating system or applications, and is fully backward compatible with Ethernet, IP and TCP. Ideally, the datacenter would also use inexpensive, off-the-shelf Ethernet switches as the basis for large-scale datacenter networks, thereby replacing high-end switches in much the way that commodity personal computers have displaced supercomputers for high-end computing environments.