“Commonality,” Need for Power Reduction Hot Topics at DCD Webscale
Even in the age of instant digital communication, trade shows are still a great opportunity to talk in-depth about industry trends and, for exhibitors, to get one-on-one reactions to your product portfolios. That was the case for Molex at the DatacenterDynamics Webscale Conference and Expo, which was held July 19-20 at the San Jose Convention Center. As an exhibitor, we were part of the discussion that went on throughout the show on the future of digital infrastructure.
One of the biggest trends is the need for “commonality,” such as open compute projects (OCP) that drive commonality between hardware and cabling. There is a big push in the industry for plug-and-play solutions that can drive down the cost of hardware and overall capex costs within the datacenter space. For example, if there is an open solution that all datacenter companies can buy, it can drive costs down due to economies of scale while making the solution easier to deploy in datacenters around the world.
Another key datacenter driver is the need for power reduction. As data speeds and bandwidths increase, power consumption will grow unless design changes are made. Some hyperscale deployments are already using 100 Gbps ports for increased speed and bandwidth, and moving forward we’re looking at 200 Gbps and 400 Gpbs ports. The big question is how power consumption in these ultra-high-speed ports can remain the same as in lower-speed ports, or at least how power increases can be kept to a minimum. Finding answers to these questions will require a lot of R&D work.
We observed that larger companies are now getting more involved in the datacenter space. Many webscale companies appear to be hiring hardware engineers from OEMS and either designing their own hardware or at least their own architectures that use OEM-based hardware. That’s helpful for Molex because we know many of those hardware engineers. At the show, we were able to talk with very high profile, focused customers, and many of those customers know Molex and our products. We also made contact with new customers who were not familiar with Molex datacenter products, such as high-speed cabling.
Regarding Molex products at the show, we found that customers were receptive to the message that Molex can offer basically anything and everything for datacenters, including copper stack cables, optical transceivers and passive fiber cables that plug into the back of those transceivers. Some companies are shifting their hardware teams to the datacenter business segment or, as mentioned above, hiring experts from hardware companies. Those customers know Molex from its support of high speed cabling and optics. Molex has worked with the large OEMs for many years, and that gives new customers a sense of confidence that we can supply them with the same types of products.
In particular, at the show we focused on our Ethernet and InfiniBand™ networking products as well as Fibre Channel, PCIe, SAD and SATA storage products. Molex networking solutions support the fastest data rates across the spectrum of distances common in datacenters. Also, Molex storage solutions support faster speeds within datacenters while minimizing signal and insertion loss.
Datacenters rely on seamless connectivity to ensure that data flows quickly, efficiently and securely. At the DCD Webscale show, Molex demonstrated its experience with network, server and storage devices and its ability to design integrated I/O cabling solutions for a wide range of datacenter customers. As more infrastructure moves to the cloud, datacenters built on Molex I/O cabling solutions can support faster processing, more bandwidth and increased density, while maximizing efficiency and reliability.