You know those cabling contests that try to get systems administrators to show off their racks? If this article from the MIT Technology Review is right, those may become a distant memory as researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara, Intel and IBM have shown how they can send data between servers without those pesky cables using 60 GHz wireless and bouncing those radio signals off the ceiling.
That means rapid data transfers up of to 500 Gigabits per second (current Ethernet cables in data centers are generally 1, 10 or maybe 40 gigabits per second) and less mess with physical cables. Of direction, each and every switch at the most sensible of a rack would have to get a radio card slotted into it, and there’s also the matter of putting reflective panels on the ceiling for the wireless signals to bounce off of. the highest of the servers may additionally need some roughly signal-soaking up floor so the indications don’t continually jump around the data heart.From the article:
To maximize the bandwidth and reduce interference between signals, it needs to be focused into narrow beams that require a direct line of sight between endpoints. “Any obstacle larger than 2.5 millimeters can block the signal,” she says.
One way to prevent the antennas from blocking each other would be to allow them to communicate only with their immediate neighbors, creating a type of mesh network. But that would further complicate efforts to route the data to the appropriate destinations, says Zheng. Bouncing the beams off the ceiling directly to their goals now not handiest ensures direct element-to-point communication among antennas but in addition reduces the chances that any two beams will pass and result in interference.“That’s very important when you have a high density of signals,” she says.
While it sounds kind of out there, the researchers hope to build a prototype data center to try the idea out. Mark Thiele, the EVP of data center era at transfer Communications’ SuperNAP data center, says the analysis is worth following as low-latency networking inside the data center can be a bottleneck lately for applications that vary from monetary buying and selling to seeking to transfer huge information units around.
The choice of 60 GHz for the data center is possibly inspired. Intel is one of several chip firms pushing 60GHz for consumer use, under the WiGig brand. This means the chips would be cheap. Additionally at 60 Ghz, signs deteriorate unexpectedly, which sucks if you wish to transmit knowledge over long distances, but is a boon if you\’re worried about somebody standing out of doors the information middle trying to pay attention to the data you are transmitting.However, using wireless, especially wireless with somewhat persnickety propagation limits (can’t travel far, requires line-of-sight between endpoints), means that data center technologists will suddenly have to learn a different type of network engineering, skills more familiar to their brethren setting up base stations in the cellular world.