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Boost data rates with clock generators

Posted: 28 Nov 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:data centre? LAN? OTN? Cloud? frequency-flexible clock generator?

Skyrocketing network bandwidth demands fuelled by consumer mobile devices and cloud-based streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Spotify, Pandora, online gaming and others, are pushing Internet Infrastructure suppliers to develop data centre systems that support dramatically higher data rates, such as 10G, 40G and 100Gbit/s. In addition, the increasing popularity of commercial cloud computing, which offers network-based computing and storage as a service, is further accelerating the demand for application-flexible, high-bandwidth networks in today's data centres.

Figure 1 illustrates the impact of these popular cloud-based streaming services on the growth of Internet traffic bandwidth. Cisco's Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast (June 2014) projects the following market trends:
???Cloud applications and services such as Netflix, YouTube, Pandora, and Spotify, will account for 90 per cent of total mobile data traffic by 2018.
???Global network traffic will be three times larger in 2018 than in 2013, equivalent to streaming 33B DVDs/month, or 46M DVDs/hour.
???By 2018, consumer online gaming traffic will be four times higher than it was in 2013.

 Cisco VNI June 2014

Figure 1: Cisco VNI June 2014.

Cloud-based apps drive network convergence in the data centre
To reliably deliver a Netflix video or a Spotify high-quality audio stream, service providers must be equipped with data centre hardware that supports three primary networks, as shown in figure 2.

LAN/WAN networks commonly comprise 1 Gb, 10 Gb, and/or 100 Gb Ethernet switches connected in a mesh switch fabric for the data centre LAN, and OTN (Optical Transport Networking) interconnects to the WAN. These networks deliver the content from the data centre to the cloud and, ultimately, to the user.

Compute networks comprise many server and switch "blades" interconnected using copper cables, PCB backplanes or optical links. These interconnects use a combination of 1 Gb, 10 Gb Ethernet, PCIe, and in some cases, InfiniBand. Network interfaces in compute networks must support not only high data rates but also very low latency, which is critical for streaming video and audio service quality.

Storage networks are primarily based on Fibre Channel, Gb or 10Gb Ethernet switches and direct connections to storage sub-systems using PCIe. These networks store considerable amounts of content, requiring multi-gigabit capable protocols.

 Data centre network

Figure 2: Data centre network overview.

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