The Next Server/Storage Evolution: Processing Data in New Environments

Whether for manufacturing goods, traveling to work or conducting day-to-day activities, society today uses data to a far greater extent than ever before. Data has really become the raw material of the future. And with an estimated 75 billion connected devices in the world generating 27 zettabytes of data a year by 2025 (according to IoT Business News) the avalanche of data keeps growing. The benefits of these devices, along with those of autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence and machine learning, only truly work via high-speed Internet and especially through the widespread introduction of 5G wireless connectivity. To process and store the huge volume of data that acts as the foundation for and is generated from these new technologies, hardware solutions must advance in parallel with antennas, software and other enablers of 5G.

The proliferation of high-speed data will drive the sharp rise of smart equipment that’s located in new environments. For example, with the expansion of the Internet of Things and Industrial Internet of Things, machines equipped to share information in real time may be in close proximity to each other, such as industrial equipment in a smart factory, or they could be dispersed over great distances, as in the cases of smart vehicles and agricultural equipment. Regardless of their location, smart machines and vehicles need real-time data processing and, as a result, reliance on huge warehouses of computing equipment will evolve.

Beyond Traditional Data Centers

Traditional information processing involving data centers often conjures the image of large warehouses populated with rack after rack of computing equipment. While these hubs of communication will form part of the data processing solution of the future, they are just a single element of the overall strategy. Some organizations, whether commercial or government, will turn to their own dedicated servers to process information locally, taking control of their own data needs.

The continued development of the Internet of Things and widespread 5G implementation will enable a new breadth of applications with different data processing requirements. As a result, every server installation will be different, with implementations located in different areas around the world. The growth of edge computing is taking processing equipment away from the data center and into locations close to the point of need. Increasingly sophisticated equipment is being installed in the challenging conditions often experienced in the industrial, transportation and agricultural sectors, along with many other applications far from sheltered environments.

This demand for specificity also creates the need for highly flexible solutions. Users are keen to benefit from the improved performance of the latest data network capabilities, and they need to be confident that their equipment can keep pace with the increasing speed and data requirements. Therefore, the latest server and storage technology must offer flexibility and scalability to accompany higher performance. The key to this adaptability is the concept of modular architecture.

High-Performing Hardware

The latest generation of microprocessors is being developed to produce higher performance and reduce energy consumption. At the same time, supporting hardware must be able to deliver the same performance while minimizing losses. The latest development in the world of connectors is supporting all of these industry requirements. Modularity delivers the ability to reconfigure and upgrade servers to accommodate future growth, and connectors will play a vital role in modular server and storage design.

To support the need for high-performing modularity, Molex continues developing innovative ways to solve the challenge of high-speed connectivity. Traditional computing architecture uses backplanes and large printed circuit boards (PCBs). The pursuit of low losses and improved signal integrity means that alternative techniques are needed to move away from high-loss PCBs. Board-to-board connectors are giving way to cable solutions, with risers employing twinax (twin-axial) cables to allow high-speed data with minimal losses.

At the same time, Molex is working to ensure a cost-effective overall solution in terms of both infrastructure and other associated costs. While it might be tempting to improve the performance of high-speed communications with optical solutions or active devices such as re-timers and linear amplifiers, the energy consumption of these systems and the associated thermal management issues can increase costs to an unacceptable level. By developing passive copper-based systems, such as cabling and connectors that can provide the high performance required, Molex solutions are ensuring customers’ installations remain competitive.

Connectivity That Makes Modular Solutions Possible

Chip manufacturers today are creating solutions that can generate data rates of 112 Gigabits per second (Gbps), with the possibility of 224 Gbps fairly close at hand. With such high speeds, the latest server and storage hardware and connectivity solutions need to deliver flexibility and ease of use without sacrificing performance.

Connectivity is vital to the performance and modularity of the latest server architecture. Learn how a broad portfolio of server and storage solutions from Molex is solving the complex challenge of delivering flexibility and ease of use with the latest standards of signal integrity and high-speed data. And find out about balancing the demands of smaller size and higher density with the ability to manufacture solutions that can deliver the performance required. For the increasingly connected world, Molex innovates to stay ahead of rapidly changing industry needs.

New Product Development Manager
New Product Development Manager