Sponsored By: Cumulus Networks, Big Switch Networks, Huawei, Netronome, Lenovo, ZTE Corporation, OpenCryptoTrust (OpenCT), Plexxi, Pulse Secure, Plexxi, Big Switch Networks, Lenovo and Pulse Secure
Networking in the data center has evolved rapidly over the course of the last few years, driven by the rise of XaaS hyperscale cloud providers, as well as the continued virtualization of the data center—first with VMs and now with containers. Further, the uptake of micro-services architecture in applications and increased reliance on big data analytics has changed data center traffic patterns both within data centers and between data centers.
To adequately support the scale and demand of ever-increasing workloads, as well as requirements of business agility and flexibility, data center builders and operators are turning to new networking technologies, including higher-speed connectivity (race to 400Gbps), HW NIC accelerator offloads, software-defined networking (SDN), automation, programmability and intent-based management and orchestration systems. And we’re seeing an interest in highly-programmable merchant silicon coming up as alternatives to FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) and NPUs (Network Processing Units), many with support for the P4 programming language.
These technologies are increasingly applied to streamlined data center networking architectures based around 2-3 tier CLOS network topologies with ECMP (equal cost multipath) support, replacing legacy fat-tree architectures. And some innovative technologists are looking beyond Ethernet to PCIe bus switching with NVMe (a storage technology) for flexible and high-performance data center solutions. Concurrent with pursuing increased capacity and speed, network operators are also implementing finer-grained micro-segmentation and compartmentalization of their networks to defend against new waves of security attacks.
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