There are two important problems with modern data centers-space and energy consumption. But network providers, such as Cisco, are not doing enough. It must reconsider chip design and packaging to reduce network energy consumption.
For example, Cisco products consume much more energy than Intel CPUs or other data center infrastructure elements. On Nanog 54, Cisco Technology Sales engineer Lawrence J. Wobker hosted a conference called "Energy consumption for high-end routing systems", which explained the extreme situation of network energy consumption as follows:
Router port density increases, which consumes more energy.
As processor chips become larger, they use more energy and require more fans, thus forming a non-linear energy-consumption model.
Fan energy consumption is variable-the hotter the data center, the higher the fan power consumption.
The power supply consumes only 10% of the energy, while the wire card consumes 70% of the total energy.
These problems exist and are likely to be reasonable, at least for Cisco, because its strategy is to add more and more services, features and functionality to the platform. However, any engineer who has used the C6500 Supervisor module can verify the actual number of chips and their physical dimensions.
Intel servers have only a small number of chips, while Cisco uses a large number of custom ASIC. Some doubted the necessity of it. Intel is improving energy efficiency--the latest generation of Intel with Pu has reduced each CPU (Paxville) 150W power consumption to Core 2 Xeon (Conroe) 95W, now Core 2 Xeon (Clovertown) unit power consumption is reduced to 80W or so. It's great to reduce energy consumption by 50% within 5 years.
Intel can achieve this energy-saving effect by focusing on energy-efficient chip designs and reducing the production of chips from 90nm to now 22nm. As the mold process becomes smaller, the energy consumption is also reduced. In addition, by consolidating multiple functions into one stencil, Intel has significantly reduced the number of chips. For example, the latest Intel CPU adds a memory interface to the main CPU stencil instead of the original North Bridge chip.
However, Cisco and other network equipment vendors still do not use smaller molds. They are still using the cheap old structure of 120nm and 90nm. Cisco insists that, as part of its innovative strategic plan, they will develop and produce their own chips. Cisco should be able to use modern chip molds to wrap and update its design, and then use low-power design techniques.
Some network providers have made some progress. Cisco Nexus 7010 typically requires 8kW power consumption, while the maximum power consumption for Arista NX 7100 racks in racks and all ports is 3.8kW. With the latest generation of chip packaging technology and efficient chip design, the latest switch Gnodal GS0072 power consumption is still less than 1.8kW when delivering 72 40,000 Gigabit Ethernet ports. But just providing better power and more efficient fans is far from enough. Real energy consumption occurs in the chip, which requires new technology in the chip design process.
(Responsible editor: The good of the Legacy)