Evolution of Data Center Networking Technology – IP and Beyond

Test, measurement and analysis


How Ethernet standards have evolved from supporting home networks to networking hyperscale and cloud data centers.

Ethernet is ubiquitous: it’s the core technology that defines the Internet and serves to connect the world in ways people could not have imagined even a generation ago. HPC clusters strive to solve the toughest problems facing humanity, and cloud computing is the service hosting many application workloads grappling with these questions. While alternative network infrastructure in data centers often facilitates low-latency, high-speed communication, their reach is often limited to a single facility. Additionally, building multiple cloud fabrics and providers that span multiple locations is often cost prohibitive to move data and even perform inter-process communication between locations. For these needs, Ethernet SoCs supporting up to 800 GbE or even beyond play a critical role and companies able to aggregate, route and deliver this traffic with minimal latency will thrive, providing a way take advantage of massive scalability and long-haul broadband. -Fast communication is essential for multi-site high-performance computing, machine learning and data analysis.

This white paper explains the evolution of Ethernet standards over the years, from supporting home networking to enabling hyperscale and cloud data center networking. The paper also highlights the need for a more comprehensive Ethernet solution beyond IP that SoC designers are demanding for 100G to 800G SoCs.

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