Next-Gen Data Center Trends That IT Teams Shouldn't Ignore

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Next-Gen Data Center Trends That IT Teams Shouldn't Ignore

If you think of Marvell as only a processor maker or a system-on-a-chip company—which is where it made its early reputation—then you probably need to do a little research. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based IT hardware giant has been expanding into multiple markets during the last several years, including the server and networking switch sectors. For example, ARM chip partners Cavium and Marvell are going all out to further their case for the use of low-power ARM-based processors in the data center. This is a battle against the long-established x86 chips that dominate the IT environment at the moment. The fact that lower-power processors now can put in nearly the same performance as hotter-running older chips is a major consideration for IT decision-makers. In this eWEEK slide show, Marvell offers what it sees as major trends for data centers in 2017.

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Huge Increase in Bandwidth Demands

The explosion of data from internet of things (IoT) devices, the surge in online video streaming and the increased throughput for servers and storage solutions has created a growing need for greater bandwidth in the data center. IT teams are seeking solutions that enable them to support faster data speeds without a costly implementation.

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Higher Adoption of 25GbE

To support this increase in data, companies today are faced with the decision to adopt 25GbE, 40GbE or even 100GbE. While 40GbE and 100GbE provide an increase in bandwidth, they're more costly and require more power than 25GbE. 25GbE is an optimal Ethernet speed for data centers looking to balance the cost and performance tradeoffs that accompany the transition to higher speeds.

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Ability to Bundle and Unbundle Channels

Data centers are bundling and unbundling multiple channels to achieve higher speeds. Historically, data centers would upgrade to higher link speeds by aggregating multiple single-lane 10GbE network physical layers. Now, 25GbE allows a 100G-bps link to be implemented by bundling four 25G-bps links together. Alternatively, 100GbE can be unbundled into four independent 25GbE channels, providing IT teams with the flexibility required to move data across their unique networks.

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Heightened Focus on Big Data Analytics

Organizations are using analytics to monitor how their networks perform in real time and make adjustments as needed. With increasing data comes increased traffic, upping the need for analytics that can effectively monitor and reallocate the network's bandwidth in real time. Leveraging analytics is a key tool for data center operators to maximize their investment.

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Growing Demand for Higher-Density Switches

Switches are getting smaller with advances in semiconductor processes, such as 28nm and 16nm. In the past, a 48-port switch required two switch chips; now, with advanced port configurations, the same result can be achieved a single chip. This, in turn, improves power efficiency and keeps costs down.

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A Need for Power-Efficient Data Solutions

Energy costs are often among the highest costs incurred by data centers. With bandwidth demands rising, power-efficient data center solutions are becoming more and more necessary amid the rising energy usage. Ethernet solutions designed with greater power efficiency are enabling data centers to cost-effectively transition to the higher GbE rates they need.

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More Companies Outsourcing IT to the Cloud

In addition to the adoption of 25GbE data center solutions, companies are looking to the cloud to address the increase in bandwidth demands. By outsourcing IT to the cloud, organizations are able to secure more space on their network while maintaining bandwidth speeds. 

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Maximized Performance With NVM Express-Based Storage

NVM Express (NVMe) is a scalable host controller interface designed to address the needs of enterprise, data center and client systems that utilize PCIe-based solid-state drives (SSDs) to help maximize performance. By using the NVMe protocol, designed from the ground up to exploit the full performance of SSDs, new compute models can be created without the limitations of legacy rotational media. SSD performance can be maximized, while server clusters enable pooled storage and shared data access.

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Transition From Servers to Network Storage

As the amount of data transferred across networks increases, more data centers are deploying storage on networks rather than servers. With this growing trend, Ethernet technologies are being used to attach storage to the network instead of legacy storage interconnects.

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Microsoft Gives Gamers Early Look at Project Scorpio Next-Gen Console

Microsoft has given gamers an earlier look at Project Scorpio, its next generation gaming console that the company is promising will have backward compatibility with the Xbox One.
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