标签归档:400G Data Center

How 400G Ethernet Influences Enterprise Networks?

Since the approval of its relevant 802.3bs standard from the IEEE in 2017, 400GbE Ethernet has become the talk of the town. The main reason behind it is the ability of this technology to beat the existing solutions by a mile. With its implementation, the current data transfer speeds will simply see a fourfold increase. Vigorous efforts are being made by the cloud service providers and network infrastructure vendors to pace up the deployment. However, there are a number of challenges that can hamper its effective implementation and hence, the adoption.

In this article, we will have a detailed look into the opportunities and the challenges linked to the successful implementation of 400G Ethernet enterprise network. This will provide a clear picture of the impact this technology will have on large-scale organizations.

Opportunities for 400G Ethernet Enterprise Networks

  • Better management of the traffic over video streaming services
  • Facilitates IoT device requirements
  • Improved data transmission density

How can 400G Ethernet assist enterprise networks in handling growing traffic demands?

Rise of 5G connectivity

Rising traffic and bandwidth demands are compelling the CSPs for rapid adoption of 5G both at the business as well as the customer end. A successful implementation requires a massive increase in bandwidth to cater for the 5G backhaul. In addition, 400G can provide CSPs with a greater density in small cells development. 5G deployment requires the cloud data centers to be brought closer to the users as well as the devices. This streamlines the edge computing (handling time-sensitive data) part, which is another game-changer in this area.5G

Data Centers Handling Video Streaming Services Traffic

The introduction of 400GbE Ethernet has brought a great opportunity for the data centers working behind the video streaming services as Content Delivery Networks. This is because the growing demand for bandwidth is going out of hand using the current technology. As the number of users increased, the introduction of better quality streams like HD and 4K has put additional pressure on the data consumption. Therefore, the successful implementation of 400GbE would come as a sigh of relief for the data centers. Apart from rapid data transferability, issues like jitter will also be brought down. Furthermore, large amounts of data transfer over a single wavelength will also bring down the maintenance cost.

High-Performance Computing (HPC)

The application of high-performance computing is in every industry sub-vertical whether it is healthcare, retail, oil & gas or weather forecasting. Real-time analysis of data is required in each of these fields and it is going to be a driver for the 400G growth. The combined power of HPC and 400G will bring out every bit of performance from the infrastructure leading to financial and operational efficiency.400G Ethernet

Addressing the Internet of Things (IoT) Traffic Demands

Another opportunity that resides in this solution is for the data centers to manage IoT needs. Data generated by the IoT devices is not large; it is the aggregation of the connections that actually hurts. Working together, these devices open new pathways over internet and Ethernet networks which leads to an exponential increase in the traffic. A fourfold increase in the data transfer speed will make it considerably convenient for the relevant data centers to gain the upper hand in this race.

Greater Density for Hyperscale Data Centers

In order to meet the increasing data needs, the number of data centers is also seeing a considerable increase. A look at the relevant stats reveals that 111 new Hyperscale data centers were set up during the last two years, and 52 out of them were initiated during peak COVID times when the logistical issues were also seeing an unprecedented increase. In view of this fact, every data center coming to the fore is looking to setup 400GbE. Provision of greater density in fiber, racks, and switches via 400GbE would help them incorporate huge and complex computing and networking requirements while minimizing the ESG footprint at the same time.

Easier Said Than Done: What Are the Challenges In 400G Ethernet technology

Below are some of the challenges enterprise data centers are facing in 400G implementation.

Cost and Power Consumption

Today’s ecosystem of 400G transceivers and DSP are power-intensive. Currently, some transceivers don’t support the latest MSA. They are developed uniquely by different vendors using their proprietary technology.

Overall, the aim is to reduce $/gigabit and watts/gigabit.

The Need for Real-World Networking Plugfests

Despite the standard being approved by IEEE, a number of modifications still need to be made in various areas like specifications, manufacturing, and design. Although the conducted tests have shown promising results, the interoperability needs to be tested in real-world networking environments. This would outline how this technology is actually going to perform in enterprise networks. In addition, any issues faced at any layer of the network will be highlighted.

Transceiver Reliability

Secondly, transceiver reliability also comes as a major challenge in this regard. Currently, the relevant manufacturers are finding it hard to meet the device power budget. The main reason behind that is the use of a relatively older design of QSFP transceiver form factor as it was originally designed for 40GbE. Problems in meeting the device power budget lead to issues like heating, optical distortions, and packet loss.

The Transition from NRZ to PAM-4

Furthermore, the shift from binary non-return to zero to pulse amplitude modulation with the introduction of 400GbE also poses a challenge for encoding and decoding. This is because NRZ was a familiar set of optical coding whereas PAM-4 requires involvement of extensive hardware and an enhanced level of sophistication. Mastering this form of coding would require time, even for a single manufacturer.from NRZ to PAM-4

Greater Risk of Link Flaps

Enterprise use of 400GbE also increases the risk of link flaps. Link flaps are defined as the phenomenon involving rapid disconnection in an optical connection. Whenever such a scenario occurs, auto-negotiation and link-training are performed before the data is allowed to flow again. While using 400GbE, link flaps can occur due to a number of additional reasons like problems with the switch, design problems with the -transceiver, or heat.

Inference

The true deployment of 400GbE Ethernet enterprise network is undoubtedly going to ease management for cloud service providers and networking vendors. However, it is still a bumpy road. With the modernization and rapid advancements in technology, scalability is going to become a lot easier for the data centers. Still, we are still a long way from the destination of a successful implementation. With higher data transfer rates easing traffic management, a lot of risks to the fiber alignment and packet loss still need to be tackled.

Article Source: How 400G Ethernet Influences Enterprise Networks?

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How 400G Has Transformed Data Centers

With the rapid technological adoption witnessed in various industries across the world, data centers are adapting on the fly to keep up with the rising client expectations. History is also pointing to a data center evolution characterized by an ever-increasing change in fiber density, bandwidth, and lane speeds.

Data centers are shifting from 100G to 400G technologies in a bid to create more powerful networks that offer enhanced experiences to clients. Some of the factors pushing for 400G deployments include recent advancements in disruptive technologies such as AI, 5G, and cloud computing.

Today, forward-looking data centers that want to maximize cost while ensuring high-end compatibility and convenience have made 400G Ethernet a priority. Below, we have discussed the evolution of data centers, the popular 400G form factors, and what to expect in the data center switching market as technology continues to improve.

Evolution of Data Centers

The concept of data centers dates back to the 1940s, when the world’s first programmable computer, the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, or ENIAC, was the apex of computational technology. The latter was primarily used by the US army to compute artillery fire during the Second World War. It was complex to maintain and operate and was only operated in a particular environment.

This saw the development of the first data centers centered on intelligence and secrecy. Ideally, a data center would have a single door and no windows. And besides the hundreds of feet of wiring and vacuum tubes, huge vents and fans were required for cooling. Refer to our data center evolution infographic to learn more about the rise of modern data centers and how technology has played a huge role in shaping the end-user experience.data center evolution

The Limits of Ordinary Data Centers

Some of the notable players driving the data center evolution are CPU design companies like Intel and AMD. The two have been advancing processor technologies, and both boost exceptional features that can support any workload.

And while most of these data center processors are reliable and optimized for several applications, they aren’t engineered for the specialized workloads that are coming up like big data analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.

How 400G Has Transformed Data Centers

The move to 400 Gbps drastically transforms how data centers and data center interconnect (DCI) networks are engineered and built. This shift to 400G connections is more of a speculative and highly-dynamic game between the client and networking side.

Currently, two multisource agreements compete for the top spot as a form-factor of choice among consumers in the rapidly evolving 400G market. The two technologies are QSFP-DD and OSFP optical/pluggable transceivers.

OSFP vs. QSFP-DD

QSFP-DD is the most preferred 400G optical form factor on the client-side, thanks to the various reach options available. The emergence of the Optical Internetworking Forum’s 400ZR and the trend toward combining switching and transmission in one box are the two factors driving the network side. Here, the choice of form factors narrows down to power and mechanics.

The OSFP being a bigger module, provides lots of useful space for DWDM components, plus it features heat dissipation capabilities up to 15W of power. When putting coherent capabilities into a small form factor, power is critical. This gives OSFP a competitive advantage on the network side.

And despite the OSFP’s power, space, and enhanced signal integrity performance, it’s not compatible with QSFP28 plugs. Additionally, its technology doesn’t have the 100Gbps version, so it cannot provide an efficient transition from legacy modules. This is another reason it has not been widely adopted on the client side.

However, the QSFP-DD is compatible with QSFP28 and QSFP plugs and has seen a lot of support in the market. The only challenge is its low power dissipation, often capped at 12 W. This makes it challenging to efficiently handle a coherent ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) and keep it cool for an extended period.

The switch to 400GE data centers is also fueled by the server’s adoption of 25GE/50GE interfaces to meet the ever-growing demand for high-speed storage access and a vast amount of data processing.400G OSFP vs. QSFP-DD

The Future of 400G Data Center Switches

Cloud service provider companies such as Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft are still deploying 100G to reduce costs. According to a report by Dell’Oro Group, 100G is expected to peak in the next two years. But despite 100G dominating the market now, 400G shipments are expected to surpass 15M million switch ports by 2023.

In 2018, the first batch of 400G switch systems based on 12.8 Tbps chips was released. Google, which then was the only cloud service provider, was among the earliest companies to get into the market. Fast-forward, other cloud service providers have entered the market helping fuel the transformation even further. Today, cloud service companies make a big chunk of 400G customers, but service providers are expected to be next in line.

Choosing a Data Center Switch

Data center switches are available in a range of form factors, designs, and switching capabilities. Depending on your unique use cases, you want to choose a reliable data center switch that provides high-end flexibility and is built for the environment in which they are deployed. Some of the critical factors to consider during the selection process are infrastructure scalability and ease of programmability. A good data center switch is power efficient with reliable cooling and should allow for easy customization and integration with automated tools and systems. Here is an article about Data Center Switch Wiki, Usage and Buying Tips.

Article Source: How 400G Has Transformed Data Centers

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400G Data Center Deployment Challenges and Solutions

As technology advances, specific industry applications such as video streaming, AI, and data analytics are increasingly pushing for increased data speeds and massive bandwidth demands. 400G technology, with its next-gen optical transceivers, brings a new user experience with innovative services that allow for faster and more data processing at a time.

Large data centers and enterprises struggling with data traffic issues embrace 400G solutions to improve operational workflows and ensure better economics. Below is a quick overview of the rise of 400G, the challenges of deploying this technology, and the possible solutions.

The Rise of 400G Data Centers

The rapid transition to 400G in several data centers is changing how networks are designed and built. Some of the key drivers of this next-gen technology are cloud computing, video streaming, AI, and 5G, which have driven the demand for high-speed, high-bandwidth, and highly scalable solutions. The large amount of data generated by smart devices, the Internet of Things, social media, and other As-a-Service models are also accelerating this 400G transformation.

The major benefits of upgrading to a 400G data center are the increased data capacity and network capabilities required for high-end deployments. This technology also delivers more power, efficiency, speed, and cost savings. A single 400G port is considerably cheaper than four individual 100G ports. Similarly, the increased data speeds allow for convenient scale-up and scale-out by providing high-density, reliable, and low-cost-per-bit deployments.

How 400G Works

Before we look at the deployment challenges and solutions, let’s first understand how 400G works. First, the actual line rate or data transmission speed of a 400G Ethernet link is 425 Gbps. The extra 25 bits establish a forward error connection (FEC) procedure, which detects and corrects transmission errors.

400G adopts the 4-level pulse amplitude modulation (PAM4) to combine higher signal and baud rates. This increases the data rates four-fold over the current Non-Return to Zero (NRZ) signaling. With PAM4, operators can implement four lanes of 100G or eight lanes of 50G for different form factors (i.e., OSFP and QSFP-DD). This optical transceiver architecture supports transmission of up to 400 Gbit/s over either parallel fibers or multiwavelength.

PM4
PAM4

Deployment Challenges & Solutions

Interoperability Between Devices

The PAM4 signaling introduced with 400G deployments creates interoperability issues between the 400G ports and legacy networking gear. That is, the existing NRZ switch ports and transceivers aren’t interoperable with PAM4. This challenge is widely experienced when deploying network breakout connections between servers, storage, and other appliances in the network.

400G transceiver transmits and receives with 4 lanes of 100G or 8 lanes of 50G with PAM4 signaling on both the electrical and optical interfaces. However, the legacy 100G transceivers are designed on 4 lanes of 25G NRZ signaling on the electrical and optical sides. These two are simply not interoperable and call for a transceiver-based solution.

One such solution is the 100G transceivers that support 100G PAM4 on the optical side and 4X25G NRZ on the electrical side. This transceiver performs the re-timing between the NRZ and PAM4 modulation within the transceiver gearbox. Examples of these transceivers are the QSFP28 DR and FR, which are fully interoperable with legacy 100G network gear, and QSFP-DD DR4 & DR4+ breakout transceivers. The latter are parallel series modules that accept an MPO-12 connector with breakouts to LC connectors to interface FR or DR transceivers.

NRZ & PM4
Interoperability Between Devices

Excessive Link Flaps

Link flaps are faults that occur during data transmission due to a series of errors or failures on the optical connection. When this occurs, both transceivers must perform auto-negotiation and link training (AN-LT) before data can flow again. If link flaps frequently occur, i.e., several times per minute, it can negatively affect throughput.

And while link flaps are rare with mature optical technologies, they still occur and are often caused by configuration errors, a bad cable, or defective transceivers. With 400GbE, link flaps may occur due to heat and design issues with transceiver modules or switches. Properly selecting transceivers, switches, and cables can help solve this link flaps problem.

Transceiver Reliability

Some optical transceiver manufacturers face challenges staying within the devices’ power budget. This results in heat issues, which causes fiber alignment challenges, packet loss, and optical distortions. Transceiver reliability problems often occur when old QSFP transceiver form factors designed for 40GbE are used at 400GbE.

Similar challenges are also witnessed with newer modules used in 400GbE systems, such as the QSFP-DD and CFP8 form factors. A solution is to stress test transceivers before deploying them in highly demanding environments. It’s also advisable to prioritize transceiver design during the selection process.

Deploying 400G in Your Data Center

Keeping pace with the ever-increasing number of devices, users, and applications in a network calls for a faster, high-capacity, and more scalable data infrastructure. 400G meets these demands and is the optimal solution for data centers and large enterprises facing network capacity and efficiency issues. The successful deployment of 400G technology in your data center or organization depends on how well you have articulated your data and networking needs.

Upgrading your network infrastructure can help relieve bottlenecks from speed and bandwidth challenges to cost constraints. However, making the most of your network upgrades depends on the deployment procedures and processes. This could mean solving the common challenges and seeking help whenever necessary.

A rule of thumb is to enlist the professional help of an IT expert who will guide you through the 400G upgrade process. The IT expert will help you choose the best transceivers, cables, routers, and switches to use and even conduct a thorough risk analysis on your entire network. That way, you’ll upgrade appropriately based on your network needs and client demands.
Article Source: 400G Data Center Deployment Challenges and Solutions
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