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Future Data Center and Networking Architecture

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[Princeton University]

The Networks In Digital Transformation

- Digital Transformation and The Future of the Networks

Digital Transformation can be described as the changes associated with the application of digital technologies in all aspects of business and society. Today, Digital Transformation extends much further and far deeper into the organisation, crossing and intersecting with a great many more business functions, processes and boundaries. And with the increase in mobile connectivity, social media, cloud computing and big data analytics, organisations need new ways of dealing with the customer experience and market opportunities.

Digital transformation, largely driven by the demands of the user experience, will redefine networking and security. Securing networks will be propelled by machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AL). Unlike today’s network security systems - largely human administered and maintained - ML and AI will be constantly vigilant against threats and vulnerabilities.

The content on networks today and changing consumption models are shifting requirements for the network. In Today’s constantly evolving, on-demand world, the network still needs to scale for massive capacity growth, but it now also needs to be more agile and programmable to better respond and handle unpredictable traffic requirements associated with cloud connectivity and the proliferation of mobile devices.

The Internet of Things (IoT) and hyper-connectivity will fundamentally disrupt traditional networking and security safeguards. As customers are now typically global, data workflows have become ever more complex and applications increasingly more sophisticated, the network infrastructure therefore has to prevent any disconnect throughout the organisation, especially in terms of access to data or operational processes across the business, or regional boundaries.


- Emerging Networking Technologies

Having fast, reliable, and secure Internet is essential to operational success. The need for increased speed in data centers and cloud services speeds is driven by many things in the continued growth of hyperscale networks from players like Google, Amazon and Facebook, but also the more distributed and mobile workloads modern networks support.

Today. Networks are undergoing transitions. Software defined networking (SDN), Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and 5G are all technology evolution which are applying pressure to existing service provider networks and causing them to adapt in multiple ways. Similarly, a transition is occurring both inside and outside the data center. Where the data and the data centers are located are becoming increasingly important. Data centers with modern infrastructure have the technology to capture these transitions. 

Emerging networking technologies focus on research in the areas of Mobile 5G and Beyond, Wi-Fi 6 and Beyond, Information Centric Networking, Cloud and Edge Computing, Smart Grid Communications, Wireless Sensor Networks, and Localization with the goal of developing and applying measurement science techniques for their performance evaluation. Some of these techniques include Network Sampling and Measurement, Congestion Control Algorithms, Learning of Network Topology, Modeling and Estimation of Network Dynamics, and Network Robustness and Vulnerability.

Today’s networks are very complex and run a large set of network protocols where implementation bugs can be very costly when gone undetected. Emerging networking technologies also look at formal methods and ways to exploit runtime network verification techniques.


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[Cherry Blossoms, Kyoto, Japan]

- Wi-Fi 6 and Beyond

Wi-Fi 6, also called 802.11ax, is an upgrade on the current highest-speed Wi-Fi protocol in wide use, 802.11ac. Wi-Fi 6 brings a dramatic improvement in efficiency across all existing Wi-Fi bands, including older 2.4GHz frequencies. Wi-Fi 6 will also likely get new spectrum in the 6GHz band, further improving its speed. The biggest improvement that comes with Wi-Fi 6 is that it increases the density of devices that can co-exist in a single space, further increasing the speed of all devices when there is more than one.

Beyond 2019, mobile 5G will bring improved speed and battery life to smartphones, as well as the growth of fixed wireless for residences, competing with wired broadband for some communities. 5G fixed wireless will be a convenient option as a WAN connection for getting branch offices online. It may have the performance (high speed and low latency) to compete with wired connections.


- Mobile 5G and Beyond

5G’s wireless technology will also make it into corporate local-area networks: An extension of the licensed 5G spectrum into a new, lightly-licensed band, CBRS (Citizens Broadband Radio Service), will allow businesses to set up their own, completely private 5G data networks. For some IoT installations, this could be a compelling solution. Wi-Fi 6 and 5G will coexist as critical wireless technologies for the enterprise.


- Future Data Centers

With over 175 zettabytes of data expected by 2025, data centers will continue to play a vital role in the ingestion, computation, storage, and management of information.

Disruptors in every industry are driving massive change, creating new and vastly improved customer experiences and services. The data center isn't disappearing. Instead, it is being repurposed and some of its tasks are moving to the edge. Something that is changing is the dominant style of computing. In the past, we used compute to create data. Now we’re moving to a point where we use computing to consume data.

Traditional data center infrastructure can’t keep up with the speed of business. Today, managing separate silos for compute, storage, virtualization, and networking is too slow and requires too much IT specialization. Modern data centers help you remain nimble and competitive by streamlining development and ensuring you always have the technology and capacity you need. More than ever, business leaders know that long-term success demands digital transformation. To compete, they must think differently about how to leverage technology to drive efficiencies, meet customer demands and attract top talent. 


- Multi-Cloud Architecture

The modern data center is very different than it was not so long ago. Infrastructure has transformed from traditional on-premises physical servers to virtualized networks that support applications and workloads across pools of physical infrastructure and into a multi-cloud environment. In this era, data exists and is connected across multiple data centers, the edge, and public and private clouds. Data centers must be able to communicate between multiple sites on-premises and in the cloud. Even the public cloud is a collection of data centers. When applications are hosted in the cloud, they use data center resources from the cloud provider. 

The modern data center starts with IT infrastructure, a fundamental shift from building infrastructure to buying everything possible and creating unique value only for your business. Converged infrastructure reduces the time and cost of deploying, configuring, and managing hardware and software components individually, and increases time-to-value for IT investments.


- Hyperconvergence and Hyperconverged Platforms

Hyperconvergence is an IT framework that combines storage, computing, and networking into a single system that reduces data center complexity and increases scalability. Hyperconverged platforms include hypervisors for virtualized computing, software-defined storage, and network virtualization. Hyperconvergence adds deeper abstractions and higher levels of automation to simple converged infrastructure. 

Converged infrastructure consists of preconfigured software and hardware packages in a single system to simplify management. But with converged infrastructure, compute, storage, and networking components are discrete and can be separated. 

In a hyperconverged environment, components cannot be separated; software-defined elements are implemented virtually and seamlessly integrated into the hypervisor environment. This allows organizations to easily expand capacity by deploying additional modules.


[More to come ...]

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