Put more bounce in your data center

05 Jan 2012

ITEM: Researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Intel have devised a technique to speed up data traffic between servers inside a data center by bouncing it off the ceiling – literally.

The proposed solution is aimed at a significant bottleneck within a data center: moving data between different servers within the site. Servers are usually connected via wired links, and adding more wiring is both expensive and impractical. A wireless broadband approach with short-range technologies like 60-GHz Wi-Fi is relatively simpler, but comes with its own challenges, like line-of-sight and interference issues.

The research team, led by UCSB associate professor of computer science Heather Zheng, says they've found a way around the problem by bouncing the wireless signals off the ceiling of the data center, according to Technology Review:

Bouncing the beams off the ceiling directly to their targets not only ensures direct point-to-point communication between antennas but also reduces the chances that any two beams will cross and cause interference. "That's very important when you have a high density of signals," she says.

Flat metal plates placed on the ceiling can provide nearly perfect reflection. "You also need an absorber material on the rack to make sure the signal doesn't bounce back up," says Zheng.

Zheng told TR the bounce technique can improve data transmission speeds by 30%.

However, the 60-GHz solution is only in the simulation stage for now – Zheng and her team are now building a prototype data center for practical testing.

Related content

No Comments Yet! Be the first to share what you think!

Related articles

This website uses cookies
This provides customers with a personalized experience and increases the efficiency of visiting the site, allowing us to provide the most efficient service. By using the website and accepting the terms of the policy, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with the terms of this policy.