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Cloud Drives Changes In Network Chip Architectures

New data flow, higher switch density and IP integration create issues across the design flow.

Oct. 03, 2018 – 

Cloud data centers have changed the networking topology and how data moves throughout a large data center, prompting significant changes in the architecture of the chips used to route that data and raising a whole new set of design challenges.

Cloud computing has emerged as the fast growing segment of the data center market. In fact, it is expected to grow three-fold in the next few years, and by 2021 it is forecast to account for 95% of all data center traffic, according to Cisco's Global Cloud Index Forecast. A key part of that equation is virtualization, which allows for dynamic allocation of compute instances and workloads to keep up with the dynamic nature of cloud services.

Looked at from a different angle, more than 75% of the traffic now flows in the east-west direction, from server to server, within the datacenter. That raises the first set of issues because the traditional three-tier network topology is optimized for north-south client-server traffic, so it cannot efficiently handle this kind of data flow.

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