More from Facebook on its new networking architecture

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Facebook has blazed a lot of trails by open sourcing some of its handiwork and driving the creation of the Open Compute Foundation to drive adoption of a standard servers for scale-out data centers. Now it’s on to networking where it’s talking up the new Data Center Fabric already rolled out in its Altoona, Iowa data center with broader deployment under way.

On this week’s Structure Show, listen as Najam Ahmad, [company]Facebook[/company] director of network engineering patiently (and I mean patiently) explains what this technology means to application builders and why the move to more modular core-and-pod versus clustered systems is key to obliterating old networking bottlenecks. “For once, networking won’t be the gating factor,” he said.

Most simply put, in traditional networks, when the biggest and best top-of-the-line switches maxed out you had to reconfigure the whole cluster. With the fabric layout, bandwidth can be added much more easily and the network is limited — in theory — only by the size of the facility and available power. But he explains it much better than I ever could, so give it a listen.

Facebook’s Look Back video extravaganza could have benefited from networking fabric and for more on how Facebook’s infrastructure people got the plumbing together for 700 million videos in 3 weeks, check out a recent talk by Facebook capacity and performance engineer Goranka Bjedov linked in this story.

But first, first that we discuss the cloud opportunities and challenges [company]IBM[/company] faces and how the [company]Oracle[/company] cloud story just got a lot more interesting with its hiring of Mark Cavage, the brains behind Joyent’s Manta distributed object store.

Najam Ahmad, director of network engineering at Facebook.

Najam Ahmad, director of network engineering at Facebook.

 

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