Google and Microsoft to lead push for next generation data centres
Fri 4 Jul 2014
Five tech firms, including Google and Microsoft, have teamed together this week in a quest to improve data centre networking standards from the current 25 or 50 Gigabit per second Ethernet link protocol.
The cloud providers, also including Mellanox, Broadcom and Arista Networks, will go by the name of The 25 Gigabit Ethernet Consortium. The group hopes to work together to boost data centre speed and performance, surpassing the current standard capacities of 10 or 40Gbps.
The collaboration comes at a time when data centre capacity is put under rapidly increasing strain due to rising demand for analytics and mobile networking and cloud-based services.
According to Yousef Khalidi1, a Microsoft engineer, the advanced speeds proposed by the consortium will allow a “superior flexibility in matching future workloads with network equipment and cabling, with the option to ‘scale-as-you-go.” This, he suggests, will be brought about by a maximised bandwidth of data centre networks and a development of original technologies previously outlined by IEEE 802.3af Power over Ethernet.
The specification to be released by the consortium will be made available “royalty-free” to data centre vendors and consumers that join the group. The standards will be rolled out over the next 12 to 18 months and will include specifics on virtual line alignment and auto-negotiation amongst others.