A closer look at data centre developments with R&M
In the ‘Five market outlooks and insights for 2020’, Reichle & De-Massari R&M looked at the developments across public, LAN and DC networks. This article focuses on the challenges and trends along with solutions with data centres.
Today, data centers must be capable of reacting to change efficiently, in an agile manner. Data traffic is growing exponentially and is boosted by IoT and 5G among the list of ever-growing wireless connections.
Soon, more than 28 billion wired and wireless devices will be networked, relying on innumerable digitalised systems and functions, which should be failsafe.
High density driven by edge and bandwidth
Within just a few years, today’s hyperscale data centres will no longer meet network latency requirements. The sheer number of data transmission and processing needs is driving the proliferation of infrastructure that extends and supports centralised structures with computing power at the network edge.
In the data centre world, gradual migration to 100, 200 and 400Gbit/s is underway and as a result, we’re seeing higher density and more cabling in racks. Today’s DCs may contain hundreds of thousands of ports and patch cord which means the complexity and dynamism of the infrastructures is reaching a scale at which humans can no longer manage without remote-controlled hardware and software support.
Automated Infrastructure Management (AIM) solutions facilitate the management of increasingly large and complex infrastructures. Future steps in AIM include the use of AI to ensure infrastructures remain manageable. AI can independently manage connectivity from the data centre to, for example, a smart city, making predictions based on monitoring and machine learning.
Some solutions for edge DCs and network management
R&M has ample experience in developing and producing these AIM systems, as well as cabling solutions and DCIM software aimed at data centres and the edge. New additions, such as port monitoring cables, make interconnect architectures fully transparent and fibre connections of switches, servers and storage devices can be monitored and networks managed digitally.
R&M’s Netscale family offers the industry’s highest 19” cabinet fibre port density and the latest Netscale 72 natively supports Base8 and Base12 parallel optic cabling and offers RFID-based automated port documentation and visual guidance of work orders.
New topologies and requirements
With the number of fibres used for transport increasing 40 and 100Gbit/s requires eight fibres in parallel pairs. Additionally, the traditional network topology with core, aggregation and access level can no longer cope with today’s needs, resulting in congestion along traffic routes.
Spine-leaf architecture can be adapted to continuously changing needs and reduces latency.
A network mesh with criss-crossing cabling ensures that switches at access level are no longer more than a hop away from each other and all devices are the same number of segments.
Unlike the ‘classic’ three-tier architecture, this new topology has just two layers. The leaf layer is built up of access switches that connect to servers, edge routers, load balancers, firewalls, and other devices. The network backbone is provided by the spine layer, which consists of routing switches.