Cells vs. packets: What’s best in the cloud computing data center? article from few years back tells that resource constrained data centers cannot waste anything on their way to efficiency. One important piece on this is right communications technology between different parts of data center.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, proprietary switch fabrics were developed by multiple companies to serve the telecom market with features for lossless operation, guaranteed bandwidth, and fine-grained traffic management. During this same time, Ethernet fabrics were relegated to the LAN and enterprise, where latency was not important and quality of service (QoS) meant adding more bandwidth or dropping packets during congestion.
Over the past few years, 10Gb Ethernet switches have emerged with congestion management and QoS features that rival proprietary telecom fabrics. With the emergence of more feature-rich 10GbE switches, InfiniBand no longer has a monopoly on low-latency fabrics. It’s important to find the right 10GbE switch architecture that can function effectively in a 2-tier fat tree.