标签归档:400G Data Center

How 400G Ethernet Influences Enterprise Networks?

Since the approval of its relevant 802.3bs standard from the IEEE in 2017, 400GbE Ethernet has become the talk of the town. The main reason behind it is the ability of this technology to beat the existing solutions by a mile. With its implementation, the current data transfer speeds will simply see a fourfold increase. Vigorous efforts are being made by the cloud service providers and network infrastructure vendors to pace up the deployment. However, there are a number of challenges that can hamper its effective implementation and hence, the adoption.

In this article, we will have a detailed look into the opportunities and the challenges linked to the successful implementation of 400G Ethernet enterprise network. This will provide a clear picture of the impact this technology will have on large-scale organizations.

Opportunities for 400G Ethernet Enterprise Networks

  • Better management of the traffic over video streaming services
  • Facilitates IoT device requirements
  • Improved data transmission density

How can 400G Ethernet assist enterprise networks in handling growing traffic demands?

Rise of 5G connectivity

Rising traffic and bandwidth demands are compelling the CSPs for rapid adoption of 5G both at the business as well as the customer end. A successful implementation requires a massive increase in bandwidth to cater for the 5G backhaul. In addition, 400G can provide CSPs with a greater density in small cells development. 5G deployment requires the cloud data centers to be brought closer to the users as well as the devices. This streamlines the edge computing (handling time-sensitive data) part, which is another game-changer in this area.5G

Data Centers Handling Video Streaming Services Traffic

The introduction of 400GbE Ethernet has brought a great opportunity for the data centers working behind the video streaming services as Content Delivery Networks. This is because the growing demand for bandwidth is going out of hand using the current technology. As the number of users increased, the introduction of better quality streams like HD and 4K has put additional pressure on the data consumption. Therefore, the successful implementation of 400GbE would come as a sigh of relief for the data centers. Apart from rapid data transferability, issues like jitter will also be brought down. Furthermore, large amounts of data transfer over a single wavelength will also bring down the maintenance cost.

High-Performance Computing (HPC)

The application of high-performance computing is in every industry sub-vertical whether it is healthcare, retail, oil & gas or weather forecasting. Real-time analysis of data is required in each of these fields and it is going to be a driver for the 400G growth. The combined power of HPC and 400G will bring out every bit of performance from the infrastructure leading to financial and operational efficiency.400G Ethernet

Addressing the Internet of Things (IoT) Traffic Demands

Another opportunity that resides in this solution is for the data centers to manage IoT needs. Data generated by the IoT devices is not large; it is the aggregation of the connections that actually hurts. Working together, these devices open new pathways over internet and Ethernet networks which leads to an exponential increase in the traffic. A fourfold increase in the data transfer speed will make it considerably convenient for the relevant data centers to gain the upper hand in this race.

Greater Density for Hyperscale Data Centers

In order to meet the increasing data needs, the number of data centers is also seeing a considerable increase. A look at the relevant stats reveals that 111 new Hyperscale data centers were set up during the last two years, and 52 out of them were initiated during peak COVID times when the logistical issues were also seeing an unprecedented increase. In view of this fact, every data center coming to the fore is looking to setup 400GbE. Provision of greater density in fiber, racks, and switches via 400GbE would help them incorporate huge and complex computing and networking requirements while minimizing the ESG footprint at the same time.

Easier Said Than Done: What Are the Challenges In 400G Ethernet technology

Below are some of the challenges enterprise data centers are facing in 400G implementation.

Cost and Power Consumption

Today’s ecosystem of 400G transceivers and DSP are power-intensive. Currently, some transceivers don’t support the latest MSA. They are developed uniquely by different vendors using their proprietary technology.

Overall, the aim is to reduce $/gigabit and watts/gigabit.

The Need for Real-World Networking Plugfests

Despite the standard being approved by IEEE, a number of modifications still need to be made in various areas like specifications, manufacturing, and design. Although the conducted tests have shown promising results, the interoperability needs to be tested in real-world networking environments. This would outline how this technology is actually going to perform in enterprise networks. In addition, any issues faced at any layer of the network will be highlighted.

Transceiver Reliability

Secondly, transceiver reliability also comes as a major challenge in this regard. Currently, the relevant manufacturers are finding it hard to meet the device power budget. The main reason behind that is the use of a relatively older design of QSFP transceiver form factor as it was originally designed for 40GbE. Problems in meeting the device power budget lead to issues like heating, optical distortions, and packet loss.

The Transition from NRZ to PAM-4

Furthermore, the shift from binary non-return to zero to pulse amplitude modulation with the introduction of 400GbE also poses a challenge for encoding and decoding. This is because NRZ was a familiar set of optical coding whereas PAM-4 requires involvement of extensive hardware and an enhanced level of sophistication. Mastering this form of coding would require time, even for a single manufacturer.from NRZ to PAM-4

Greater Risk of Link Flaps

Enterprise use of 400GbE also increases the risk of link flaps. Link flaps are defined as the phenomenon involving rapid disconnection in an optical connection. Whenever such a scenario occurs, auto-negotiation and link-training are performed before the data is allowed to flow again. While using 400GbE, link flaps can occur due to a number of additional reasons like problems with the switch, design problems with the -transceiver, or heat.

Inference

The true deployment of 400GbE Ethernet enterprise network is undoubtedly going to ease management for cloud service providers and networking vendors. However, it is still a bumpy road. With the modernization and rapid advancements in technology, scalability is going to become a lot easier for the data centers. Still, we are still a long way from the destination of a successful implementation. With higher data transfer rates easing traffic management, a lot of risks to the fiber alignment and packet loss still need to be tackled.

Article Source: How 400G Ethernet Influences Enterprise Networks?

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How Is 5G Pushing the 400G Network Transformation?

With the rapid technological disruption and the wholesale shift to digital, several organizations are now adopting 5G networks, thanks to the fast data transfer speeds and improved network reliability. The improved connectivity also means businesses can expand on their service delivery and even enhance user experiences, increasing market competitiveness and revenue generated.

Before we look at how 5G is driving the adoption of 400G transformation, let’s first understand what 5G and 400G are and how the two are related.

What is 5G?

5G is the latest wireless technology that delivers multi-Gbps peak data speeds and ultra-low latency. This technology marks a massive shift in communication with the potential to greatly transform how data is received and transferred. The increased reliability and a more consistent user experience also enable an array of new applications and use cases extending beyond network computing to include distributed computing.

And while the future of 5G is still being written, it’s already creating a wealth of opportunities for growth & innovation across industries. The fact that tech is constantly evolving and that no one knows exactly what will happen next is perhaps the fascinating aspect of 5G and its use cases. Whatever the future holds, one is likely certain: 5G will provide far more than just a speedier internet connection. It has the potential to disrupt businesses and change how customers engage and interact with products and services.

What is 400G?

400G or 400G Ethernet is the next generation of cloud infrastructure that offers a four-fold jump in max data-transfer speed from the standard maximum of 100G. This technology addresses the tremendous bandwidth demands on network infrastructure providers, partly due to the massive adoption of digital transformation initiatives.

Additionally, exponential data traffic growth driven by cloud storage, AI, and Machine Learning use cases has seen 400G become a key competitive advantage in the networking and communication world. Major data centers are also shifting to quicker, more scalable infrastructures to keep up with the ever-growing number of users, devices, and applications. Hence high-capacity connection is becoming quite critical.

How are 5G and 400G Related?

The 5G wireless technology, by default, offers greater speeds, reduced latencies, and increased data connection density. This makes it an attractive option for highly-demanding applications such as industrial IoT, smart cities, autonomous vehicles, VR, and AR. And while the 5G standard is theoretically powerful, its real-world use cases are only as good as the network architecture this wireless technology relies on.

The low-latency connections required between devices, data centers, and the cloud demands a reliable and scalable implementation of the edge-computing paradigms. This extends further to demand greater fiber densification at the edge and substantially higher data rates on the existing fiber networks. Luckily, 400G fills these networking gaps, allowing carriers, multiple-system operators (MSOs), and data center operators to streamline their operations to meet most of the 5G demands.

5G Use Cases Accelerating 400G transformation

As the demand for data-intensive services increases, organizations are beginning to see some business sense in investing in 5G and 400G technologies. Here are some of the major 5G applications driving 400G transformation.

High-Speed Video Streaming

The rapid adoption of 5G technology is expected to take the over-the-top viewing experience to a whole new level as demand for buffer-free video streaming, and high-quality content grows. Because video consumes the majority of mobile internet capacity today, the improved connectivity will give new opportunities for digital streaming companies. Video-on-demand (VOD) enthusiasts will also bid farewell to video buffering, thanks to the 5G network’s ultra-fast download speeds and super-low latency. Still, 400G Ethernet is required to ensure reliable power, efficiency, and density to support these applications.

Virtual Gaming

5G promises a more captivating future for gamers. The network’s speed enhances high-definition live streaming, and thanks to ultra-low latency, 5G gaming won’t be limited to high-end devices with a lot of processing power. In other words, high-graphics games can be displayed and controlled by a mobile device; however, processing, retrieval, and storage can all be done in the cloud.

Use cases such as low-latency Virtual Reality (VR) apps, which rely on fast feedback and near-real-time response times to give a more realistic experience, also benefit greatly from 5G. And as this wireless network becomes the standard, the quantity and sophistication of these applications are expected to peak. That is where 400G data centers and capabilities will play a critical role.

The Internet of Things (IoT)

Over the years, IoT has grown and become widely adopted across industries, from manufacturing and production to security and smart home deployments. Today, 5G and IoT are poised to allow applications that would have been unthinkable a few years ago. And while this ultra-fast wireless technology promises low latency and high network capacity to overcome the most significant barriers to IoT proliferation, the network infrastructure these applications rely on is a key determining factor. Taking 5G and IoT to the next level means solving the massive bandwidth demands while delivering high-end flexibility that gives devices near real-time ability to sense and respond.

400G Network

400G Ethernet as a Gateway to High-end Optical Networks

Continuous technological improvements and the increasing amount of data generated call for solid network infrastructures that support fast, reliable, and efficient data transfer and communication. Not long ago, 100G and 200G were considered sophisticated network upgrades, and things are getting even better.

Today, operators and service providers that were among the first to deploy 400G are already reaping big from their investments. Perhaps one of the most compelling features of 400G isn’t what it offers at the moment but rather its ability to accommodate further upgrades to 800G and beyond. What’s your take on 5G and 400G, or your progress in deploying these novel technologies?

Article Source: How Is 5G Pushing the 400G Network Transformation?

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400G Data Center Deployment Challenges and Solutions

As technology advances, specific industry applications such as video streaming, AI, and data analytics are increasingly pushing for increased data speeds and massive bandwidth demands. 400G technology, with its next-gen optical transceivers, brings a new user experience with innovative services that allow for faster and more data processing at a time.

Large data centers and enterprises struggling with data traffic issues embrace 400G solutions to improve operational workflows and ensure better economics. Below is a quick overview of the rise of 400G, the challenges of deploying this technology, and the possible solutions.

The Rise of 400G Data Centers

The rapid transition to 400G in several data centers is changing how networks are designed and built. Some of the key drivers of this next-gen technology are cloud computing, video streaming, AI, and 5G, which have driven the demand for high-speed, high-bandwidth, and highly scalable solutions. The large amount of data generated by smart devices, the Internet of Things, social media, and other As-a-Service models are also accelerating this 400G transformation.

The major benefits of upgrading to a 400G data center are the increased data capacity and network capabilities required for high-end deployments. This technology also delivers more power, efficiency, speed, and cost savings. A single 400G port is considerably cheaper than four individual 100G ports. Similarly, the increased data speeds allow for convenient scale-up and scale-out by providing high-density, reliable, and low-cost-per-bit deployments.

How 400G Works

Before we look at the deployment challenges and solutions, let’s first understand how 400G works. First, the actual line rate or data transmission speed of a 400G Ethernet link is 425 Gbps. The extra 25 bits establish a forward error connection (FEC) procedure, which detects and corrects transmission errors.

400G adopts the 4-level pulse amplitude modulation (PAM4) to combine higher signal and baud rates. This increases the data rates four-fold over the current Non-Return to Zero (NRZ) signaling. With PAM4, operators can implement four lanes of 100G or eight lanes of 50G for different form factors (i.e., OSFP and QSFP-DD). This optical transceiver architecture supports transmission of up to 400 Gbit/s over either parallel fibers or multiwavelength.

PM4
PAM4

Deployment Challenges & Solutions

Interoperability Between Devices

The PAM4 signaling introduced with 400G deployments creates interoperability issues between the 400G ports and legacy networking gear. That is, the existing NRZ switch ports and transceivers aren’t interoperable with PAM4. This challenge is widely experienced when deploying network breakout connections between servers, storage, and other appliances in the network.

400G transceiver transmits and receives with 4 lanes of 100G or 8 lanes of 50G with PAM4 signaling on both the electrical and optical interfaces. However, the legacy 100G transceivers are designed on 4 lanes of 25G NRZ signaling on the electrical and optical sides. These two are simply not interoperable and call for a transceiver-based solution.

One such solution is the 100G transceivers that support 100G PAM4 on the optical side and 4X25G NRZ on the electrical side. This transceiver performs the re-timing between the NRZ and PAM4 modulation within the transceiver gearbox. Examples of these transceivers are the QSFP28 DR and FR, which are fully interoperable with legacy 100G network gear, and QSFP-DD DR4 & DR4+ breakout transceivers. The latter are parallel series modules that accept an MPO-12 connector with breakouts to LC connectors to interface FR or DR transceivers.

NRZ & PM4
Interoperability Between Devices

Excessive Link Flaps

Link flaps are faults that occur during data transmission due to a series of errors or failures on the optical connection. When this occurs, both transceivers must perform auto-negotiation and link training (AN-LT) before data can flow again. If link flaps frequently occur, i.e., several times per minute, it can negatively affect throughput.

And while link flaps are rare with mature optical technologies, they still occur and are often caused by configuration errors, a bad cable, or defective transceivers. With 400GbE, link flaps may occur due to heat and design issues with transceiver modules or switches. Properly selecting transceivers, switches, and cables can help solve this link flaps problem.

Transceiver Reliability

Some optical transceiver manufacturers face challenges staying within the devices’ power budget. This results in heat issues, which causes fiber alignment challenges, packet loss, and optical distortions. Transceiver reliability problems often occur when old QSFP transceiver form factors designed for 40GbE are used at 400GbE.

Similar challenges are also witnessed with newer modules used in 400GbE systems, such as the QSFP-DD and CFP8 form factors. A solution is to stress test transceivers before deploying them in highly demanding environments. It’s also advisable to prioritize transceiver design during the selection process.

Deploying 400G in Your Data Center

Keeping pace with the ever-increasing number of devices, users, and applications in a network calls for a faster, high-capacity, and more scalable data infrastructure. 400G meets these demands and is the optimal solution for data centers and large enterprises facing network capacity and efficiency issues. The successful deployment of 400G technology in your data center or organization depends on how well you have articulated your data and networking needs.

Upgrading your network infrastructure can help relieve bottlenecks from speed and bandwidth challenges to cost constraints. However, making the most of your network upgrades depends on the deployment procedures and processes. This could mean solving the common challenges and seeking help whenever necessary.

A rule of thumb is to enlist the professional help of an IT expert who will guide you through the 400G upgrade process. The IT expert will help you choose the best transceivers, cables, routers, and switches to use and even conduct a thorough risk analysis on your entire network. That way, you’ll upgrade appropriately based on your network needs and client demands.
Article Source: 400G Data Center Deployment Challenges and Solutions
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