Speed Up Data Center Information Flow with Indoor Satellites
The speed of the flow of information needs to increase voice and data lines are getting congested and slowing down information processing. Large web services companies need to be able to connect to data and process it quickly in order to return information to the customer. Wires can only hold so much and they are slow. So why not process wirelessly? That is what Heather Zheng of the University of California Santa Barbara says in MIT’s Technology Review. In order to speed up the process you would need direct line of sight between the computers, but what if you bounce the signal? Zheng and her team use a 60-gigahertz Wi-Fi and flat metal plates mounted on the ceiling to bounce signals between computers. This reduces the needs for wires and adds .5 terabytes per second to the processing speed.
This concept is similar to the use of communication satellites and VSATs. In the 1970s, satellites were widely being used for trunk line transmission of telephone networks. Very small aperture terminals (or VSATs) direct information transmission such as satellite television to people’s houses around the globe. Take this same structure, make it much smaller, and apply it to dataflow in a data center.
In this case, the use of very-very small aperture terminals may be called for to set up the two-way information transmission network in a crowded data center. The information could be
essentially shot from the top of a workstation to the ceiling and bounced down to a terminal somewhere else in the data center. Using this technique could relieve the data center of managing information flow rates and continuously upgrading wiring and connections. However, the“airspace” above the terminals must remain clear of obstructions and the proper angles/coordinates of the equipment will need to be strictly adhered to.
Graham-Rowe, Duncan. (2011, December 20). Bouncing Data Would Speed Up Data Centers. Technology Review. http://www.technologyreview.com/communications/39367/
- Data center design is no simple matter (zdnet.com)
- Data Centers: The Front Line in Information Warfare (datacenterknowledge.com)
- Inside 5 Of The World’s Biggest Data Centers [Stats & Pics] (makeuseof.com)