Rethinking the Network

Michael Bushong

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PlexxiPulse—Facebook’s New Network

The internet has been buzzing about Facebook’s redesigned datacenter architecture. Facebook, which is used by more than 1.35 billion people, recently restructured their infrastructure to increase flexibility and agility to rapidly adjust to application requirements. Our own Marten Terpstra shared his take on the redesigned infrastructure this week on the Plexxi blog—it’s definitely worth a read. Below we share some of the articles that covered Facebook’s new datacenter architecture, as well as other happenings in the networking space this week.

In this week’s PlexxiTube of the week, Dan Backman explains how much fiber is required to connect datacenters using Plexxi’s datacenter transport fabric solution.

Gigaom: Facebook Redesigned the Data Center Network: 3 Reasons It Matters
By Derrick Harris
Earlier this month, Facebook announced a new data center networking architecture that it calls, fittingly, “data center fabric.” The company explained the design and the rationale in an engineering blog post, and Gigaom’s Jonathan Vanian covered the news, but it’s a big enough deal that we had Facebook Director of Network Engineering Najam Ahmad on the Structure Show podcast this week to talk about the new fabric in more detail.

CIO: How (and Why) Facebook Excels at Data Center Efficiency
By Matt Kapko
Efficiency is a priority at the core of Facebook’s capability to scale, according to Jason Taylor, the company’s vice president of infrastructure. There are never more than five types of servers in use at any of Facebook’s data centers, located in five different regions, and no servers or infrastructure sit dormant waiting for services to launch, Taylor told analysts yesterday at the Credit Suisse Technology Conference. Considering the volume of new data that Facebook processes every day — 930 million photo uploads, 6 billion likes and 12 billion messages — cost savings and efficiency gains compound at virtually unparalleled magnitudes. Taylor says Facebook is focused on cutting costs at its data centers, on servers and on software. That effort begins with managing the heat that emanates from the servers that power its 1.35 billion monthly users.

ComputerWeekly: Networking Technologies Emerging In The Enterprise
By Steve Broadhead
The networking world has always had a tendency to get carried away with new trends and technologies. Many of these technologies are simply re-inventions with new names, which forget to focus on the basics of efficiently running a corporate network. Whether that network now resides in the physical corporate offices, some other datacentre or public/private cloud is largely irrelevant. What is important is to see the take-up of new, relevant technologies that improve networking beyond where it is today.

Network World:Announcing A New Switching Arrival
By Jim Duffy
Branded and white box switches would like to welcome their new entrant into the world: brite box. The hybrid love child of the tempestuous couple is proof that sometimes, opposites attract. Gartner analysts Andrew Lerner and Joe Skorupa actually christened “Branded White Box” and provided some keen analysis into its role in life, growth potential and challenges. Like mother white box, brite box was put on this Earth to reduce the capital cost of physical underlay networks supporting software defined networking overlays. But brite box inherits the familiarity of father branded, and thus brings a sense of comfort and security when employed as a lower cost physical underlay for SDN.

SearchDataCenter: New Choices Bring Enterprise Big Data Home
By Mike Matchett
When big data practices come to your organization, it’s all about location, location, location. I’ve heard recently from a bunch of big-data-related vendors that are all vying to gain from your sure-to-grow big data footprint. After all, big data isn’t about minimizing your data set, but making the best use of as much data as you can possibly manage. That’s not a bad definition of big data if you are still looking for one. With all this growing data, you will need a growing data center infrastructure to match.

What do you think? Share your opinions about these stories with us on Twitter.

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More Stories By Michael Bushong

The best marketing efforts leverage deep technology understanding with a highly-approachable means of communicating. Plexxi's Vice President of Marketing Michael Bushong has acquired these skills having spent 12 years at Juniper Networks where he led product management, product strategy and product marketing organizations for Juniper's flagship operating system, Junos. Michael spent the last several years at Juniper leading their SDN efforts across both service provider and enterprise markets. Prior to Juniper, Michael spent time at database supplier Sybase, and ASIC design tool companies Synopsis and Magma Design Automation. Michael's undergraduate work at the University of California Berkeley in advanced fluid mechanics and heat transfer lend new meaning to the marketing phrase "This isn't rocket science."