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Is the data centre network ready for Facetime?

Nicky Choo | Aug. 6, 2010
There is a need for service providers to adopt a better network framework to increase bandwidth capacity and to reduce bottlenecks on the data centres traffic.

The call for rich video content will be the largest contributor to drive carriers to adopt 40GB ethernet switches as the backbone for broadband delivery.  In most smart phones, there are apps made specifically to connect directly, browse and manage video accounts in Youtube.  

Why 40 GBE?

As 10 GBE become a stable foundation for next generation of Ethernet in carriers and data centres today, the presence of new applications and technologies also continue to grow. New bandwidth heavy applications and technologies such as video streaming, social networking, and faster search engines, network managers are pressed to extend to higher bandwidth capacity in order to reduce server bottlenecks and increase service satisfaction to end-users and customers. For Extreme Networks, as more servers move 10GBE connectivity as a baseline, the need for 40 GBE at the top-of-rack becomes even more important.

40 GBE is poised to become a data centre infrastructure requirement, where it serves as an aggregation technology necessary to build data centres with high performance servers that are supporting myriad of services including video, storage and traditional applications.

Upgrade considerations

Before jumping into the bandwagon in deploying higher capacity ethernet switches, here are the basic guidelines to maximise the efficiency of your data centre network.

1.    Examine your current network this will help in the planning process and to avoid or decrease downtime during upgrade installation. Identifying your network also improves your decision on what network, servers you need to replace which enhances the total cost of ownership (TCO) of existing legacy systems.

2.    Include a traffic management system in the network design a traffic management system optimises the networks performance by transferring data centre traffic to under-utilised networks and the Internet, therefore decreasing latency in network throughput. In the long run, it reduces bottlenecks which increase network productivity through better bandwidth utilisation.

3.    Cabling A category 5 (CAT 5) cable usually can support a gigabit network, but investing in CAT 5e or 6 can offer a better job by reducing electromagnetic interference. Reducing interference between cables will deliver a more impressive output in speed and data transfer performance.

4.    Switching design there are a lot of affordable 40 to 100 GB ethernet switches in the market today. Consider a switching appliance with ports that are not close to each other. These design types also contributes to bandwidth interference. Colliding nodes disrupts transmission and may randomly shut down. Also look for ethernet switch boxes that are scalable for future network and data centre expansion.

5.    Test your network make sure that all software, devices and hardware are up-to-date and can handle 40-100GB workload.

 

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