A number of independent trends are driving a new age of massively scalable data centers. One of these trends include a new IT delivery model based upon cloud computing, where large hosting facilities provide a range of IT services to corporations and governments. Further, high performance computing (HPC) facilities built via server clusters on the order of thousands to tens of thousands of servers and more has ushered in new favorable economics thanks to its use of x86 commodity hardware. The growth of public hosting and HPC facilities will only continue as efficient data center economics point to a fewer number of highly dense sites. It is this data center market segment, where the number of servers per facility is greater than 5,000, that we focus this white paper from a perspective of fabric, connecting servers and storage to internet/intranet via high performance Ethernet networking. For IT architects and designers of high-end data centers, this is the most important network design paper you will read this year.
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