Facebook speeds up its data center network with the launch of its Backpack switch platform
Fb is on a mission to make the fiber optic networking inside its knowledge facilities go from 40G to 100G. Its Wedge 100 top-of-rack community change (principally, the system that connects all of the servers in a rack to the broader knowledge middle community) was already accepted into the Open Compute Undertaking and at the moment, the corporate lifted the veil of Backpack, its next-gen 100G change platform for connecting all of the racks inside the information middle collectively.
As Omar Baldonado, Fb’s Director of Software program Engineering for Networking, informed me, the corporate is this sooner networking expertise for a lot of causes, however it’s largely pushed by the necessity to have the ability to help extra stay and recorded video, in addition to 360 pictures and video. Fb’s personal inner knowledge middle visitors additionally continues to extend as builders take a look at new methods to collect analytics and use that knowledge to enhance the person expertise.
100G, nevertheless, continues to be very a lot at the forefront of high-speed networking. Fb is clearly not the one firm engaged on this. LinkedIn, for instance, has additionally just lately talked about how it plans to take its knowledge middle in Oregon to 100G sooner or later. Not like others, although, Fb is dedicated to opening up the designs of its servers and networking expertise — and the software program that energy them — for the remainder of the trade.
Facebook speeds up its data center network with the launch of its Backpack switch platform
As Baldonado famous, one challenge with going from 40G to 100G is that these new units are considerably extra energy hungry and more durable to chill (“Consider it like overclocking a gaming PC,” he mentioned). “We need to play at these excessive speeds however we have to do it in a means that works throughout all of our knowledge facilities,” Baldonado informed me. “We’ve been working with the entire trade ecosystem — server distributors, NIC producers, fiber producers — to get this to work at our scale.” Whereas the Backpack could supply 2.5x the capability of the older “6-pack” switches, the can’t client 2.5x as a lot energy, in any case.
Fb plans to contribute the design of the brand new Backpack switches to the Open Compute Poject as effectively. It’s presently beginning to slowly roll out the Backpack to its knowledge facilities because it goes by way of its inner testing procedures.

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