Research institutes are, by design, on the cutting edge of many fronts, and data generation is no exception. Researchers are producing data in petabyte-levels today, and that number is growing exponentially. While this is great news in many ways (more data paves the way to more results), it’s creating challenges when it comes to actually transporting this data and collaborating with other research institutes. Existing Research and Education Networks (RENs) are not equipped to deal with today’s data requirements, meaning that researchers are forced to discard over 90% of data generated(!).
That’s an unacceptable number, so fortunately RENs are taking action to address these trends. Internet2, an advanced networking consortium for the research and education community, is leading the charge. In the article, Robert Vietzke of Internet2 shares three key points that he sees as necessary for supporting high-data research: 100 GbE, security and specifically addressing big data flows, and SDN. We at Brocade completely agree, which is why we partnered with Internet2 to build out their 100GbE SDN backbone using high-performance Brocade MLXe routers. The MLXe enables zettabyte levels of data transport and increased performance through full wire speed 100GbE and leading 10 GbE, 40 GbE, and 100 GbE density. And with hardware-enabled Hybrid Port OpenFlow, RENs can run OpenFlow at full wire speed up to 100 GbE on the same ports as traditional traffic. That means implementing OpenFlow without affecting performance.
The research space is a fascinating one. Pushing the boundaries to drive innovation is something I definitely support. Keep an eye out for more!