The Stack Archive News Article

Mega data centres leverage scale to improve cloud computing

Mon 8 May 2017

Mega data centre

A new report from WinterGreen Research states that by leveraging scale, mega data centers can improve cloud computing for the enterprise by creating a non-blocking networked server architecture.

In a mega data center, extreme scale provides the pathways for non-blocking (CLOS) server architecture. A CLOS system design creates multi-stage switching opportunities, and non-blocking architecture permits a client to launch thousands of virtual servers on demand at the application layer, simplifying scalable cloud computing for the enterprise.

Additional resources can be deployed as needed, either upon client request or through an automated process. Once they are no longer required, automated deprovisioning of surplus resources results in greater efficiency and lower cost to the client company.

Additionally, since the resources are virtual rather than physical, the enterprise is able to utilize and deploy servers as required without concern for acquiring, then disposing of physical assets.

The Cloud 2.0 mega data center platform uses fabric technologies to create scale, which provide enough pathways to eliminate bottlenecks. Duplicate pathways to every node in the fabric are provided several times over, to ensure access to all node resources.

In the mega data center, servers are linked to top-of-rack switches, and a pod of racks are linked through an edge aggregation switch. Aggregation switches are connected by non-blocking spine switches.

Non-blocking architecture increases efficiency for IT infrastructure over alternative cloud architecture, to support innovation and simplify digitization.

In the paper, the researchers note that technology giants Microsoft, Facebook, AWS and Google all use CLOS architecture to support innovation while keeping costs low. An excerpt from the research paper states, “Scale is an essential aspect of the data center positioning for these leading companies. These companies use CLOS networks as their data center implementations. This module addresses how and why scale in the mega data center is important. The market shift to non-blocking network inside data center building means companies have to hit a certain scale before CLOS networks work.”

The ten largest data centers in the world all qualify as ‘mega’ data centers, with four from Microsoft (Dublin, Quincy, San Antonio, and Chicago); the Las Vegas SuperNAP from Switch Communications, and topping the list, the Lakeside Technology Center from Digital Realty.


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