It seems like most of the network innovations showing up this year have to do with applying abstraction of control, disaggregation of resources or both, and this week’s first two articles definitely follow that pattern! Read on for news about a new memory disaggregation technology, a game company using hybrid network architecture, and some commentary on the latest airline data center failure.
Top 500 | Disaggregation is almost old hat – but that doesn’t make the news out of the University of Michigan any less exciting. Michael Feldman reports on their new “Infiniswap” technology, including a summary of the test results, what has changed to make memory disaggregation possible, and why it all matters.
BlastingNews | It’s a little outside our usual scope, but this piece by Scott Grill shows just how pervasive the trends of abstraction and disaggregation are. Bungie, the studio behind Destiny 2, has scrapped the idea of dedicated servers for accounts on different devices (PS4, Xbox or PC). Instead, they’re using a hybrid architecture where user devices still handle much of the movement data and computation, but their cloud servers control a broader range of mission, character and in-game physics data. That provides easier portability for users to participate in events, and provides Bungie with an extra degree of control that they hope will minimize cheating.
PCWorld | Another day, another airline struck by data center problems. Peter Sayer highlights the fact that British Airways did have a backup system in place… but it also failed. They don’t know why yet, but I have to wonder how thoroughly they tested the backup system – and how helpful SDN and network virtualization would have been in creating more robust failover systems!