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Huawei Proposes DC 3.0 Architecture for Future Data Centers

April 10, 2015

When it comes to the present and future of data centers, Chinese powerhouse Huawei had significant news in the past few days. 

First came the news that the research firm IDC, in its Worldwide Quarterly Datacenter Networks Qview (2014Q4), listed Huawei as the fastest-growing provider in the global data center switch market in 2014 with growth rate of 137 percent. The report, which showed global data center switch sales revenue humming along at a 10 percent growth rate year-on-year, noted that Huawei's sales revenue in 2014Q4 accounted for 4 percent of the global total sales revenue for that quarter. This moved the company up in the vendor rankings from No. 7 in 2013Q4 to No. 4 in 2014Q4.

Second, Huawei made a splash with the announcement of its Data Center 3.0 (DC 3.0) architecture designed to meet the requirement of real-time data processing in the big data era. The architecture, based on resource pooling, software-defined and all-optical interconnecting technologies, will be able to significantly improve the real-time data processing ability of data centers in the future.

Huawei notes that by using flexible real-time software and hardware resource allocation, there is a significant improvement in the ability of data centers to process data. In addition, the DC 3.0 architecture has a flat configuration and the capability to expand flexibly, providing customers with a leading, cost-effective data center solution.

Hauwei provided some context on the need for the new architecture. It explained that like others who are looking at the data storm that is already hitting networks and data centers, over the next 10 years, Huawei expects that average personal data consumption will reach PetaByte levels. Just to put this in perspective this would represent a 1,000 times increase of current Terabytes data consumption levels. As Huawei says, “The increase of data consumption will result in conventional data centers facing challenges such as real-time data processing, on demand resource allocation and massive systems energy efficiency.”

The DC 3.0 architecture is designed with these future needs in mind. Huawei cites the key innovations to be offered: pooling computing and storage resource via disaggregation. Parallel computing can improve the processing ability of large-scale data centers. The silicon photonic interconnections with fine granularity resource management enable the architecture to meet the high bandwidth and low latency requirements of data transmission. Also the processors can achieve the best type tasks assigned by the heterogeneous processor architecture.

DC 3.0 is being promoted as being a data-centric architecture as opposed to the conventional computing-centric mode. In sum, the objective is to combine the key technology innovations in software and hardware disaggregation, chip level silicon photonic interconnection, heterogeneous computing and parallel programming frame, to achieve better resource utilization, higher computing ability and lower energy consumption.

The project leader of DC 3.0 said: “Huawei is dedicated to researching and developing innovative technologies for the next generation of data centers. Our aim is to help our customers realize the value in cloud computing and big data processing, contributing to a better connected world.”

The work on fleshing out the vision is being done by Huawei Shannon Lab. The details are sure to be something that will catch the attention not only of Huawei customers but competitors as well. 

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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