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Big data analytics computing requires a 'maverick fabric' network

By Bob Fernander, CEO, Gnodal Ltd, special to Network World
September 25, 2012 04:14 PM ET

Page 3 of 3

Network convergence and congestion avoidance

The principle of convergence and the trend within the commercial arena to combine storage and networking traffic on the same physical network raises significant challenges. Can these elements combine further to embrace the necessary protocols to support the cluster and interconnect the LAN and storage in a single unified fabric?

The concept of consolidation is simple but the commensurate benefits to the end user are considerable -- in administration, vendor neutrality, power budget and flexibility, all leading to a lowering of cost and reducing risk for IT departments and cloud providers.

A "maverick fabric" architecture preserves single-switch performance characteristics and throughput by instantiating a common fabric between individual switches connected in an arbitrary topology. A multi-Gigabit Ethernet fabric is maintained throughout the distributed switch deployment comprising, in theory, an infinite number of ports. It also supports multi-path, loop-free routing techniques that combine to provide distributed load-balancing across multi-chassis configurations, effectively removing network congestion while maintaining strict in-sequence parity for reliable and efficient packet delivery.

Embracing the "maverick fabric" concept to achieve optimization of a network free from congestion offers considerable advantages to the delivery of HPC-quality services. Avoiding gateways between one fabric from another provides a unique opportunity to move storage from islands of information per cluster to a more distributed enterprise, thus allowing HPC concepts to take more of a profitable role in the IT infrastructure of a large-scale business.

The Gnodal ASIC-based Ethernet switch architecture features a congestion-aware performance and workload engine that allows for ultra-low latency transmission while utilizing a dynamic, fully adaptive load-balancing mechanism to equitably arbitrate a pre-emptive pathway for large data-sets, high computational applications and massive storage demands prevalent in HPC, Cloud and Big Data environments, thus utilizing virtually 100% of the Gnodal fabric's available bandwidth. For more information, visit www.gnodal.com.

Read more about data center in Network World's Data Center section.

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