Isn’t it time for a consumable network fabric?

Data centers have been built around consumable compute and storage resources for decades. However, the network and switches needed to support this were not included. Because of this, hyperscalers ran into scaling limits and, for some time, have been building networks that attempted to meet the demands of both compute and storage. Network equipment vendors have been slow to follow that suit; perhaps because their businesses were built around selling purpose-built hardware.

About the author

Erwan James is Principal Solutions Architect and Regional Product Line Manager for Nokia’s Global Webscale business.

The time has come for network vendors to shift their thinking though. As data center interconnect and distributed edge clouds become the norm — especially for servicing enterprises that embrace Industry 4.0 — it is time for switches to become more consumable. In other words: to have the ability to adapt to the ever changing needs of the compute environment.

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