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Proceedings Paper

Demonstration of fully enabled data center subsystem with embedded optical interconnect
Author(s): Richard Pitwon; Alex Worrall; Paul Stevens; Allen Miller; Kai Wang; Katharine Schmidtke
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Paper Abstract

The evolution of data storage communication protocols and corresponding in-system bandwidth densities is set to impose prohibitive cost and performance constraints on future data storage system designs, fuelling proposals for hybrid electronic and optical architectures in data centers. The migration of optical interconnect into the system enclosure itself can substantially mitigate the communications bottlenecks resulting from both the increase in data rate and internal interconnect link lengths. In order to assess the viability of embedding optical links within prevailing data storage architectures, we present the design and assembly of a fully operational data storage array platform, in which all internal high speed links have been implemented optically. This required the deployment of mid-board optical transceivers, an electro-optical midplane and proprietary pluggable optical connectors for storage devices. We present the design of a high density optical layout to accommodate the midplane interconnect requirements of a data storage enclosure with support for 24 Small Form Factor (SFF) solid state or rotating disk drives and the design of a proprietary optical connector and interface cards, enabling standard drives to be plugged into an electro-optical midplane. Crucially, we have also modified the platform to accommodate longer optical interconnect lengths up to 50 meters in order to investigate future datacenter architectures based on disaggregation of modular subsystems. The optically enabled data storage system has been fully validated for both 6 Gb/s and 12 Gb/s SAS data traffic conveyed along internal optical links.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 March 2014
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 8991, Optical Interconnects XIV, 899110 (8 March 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2039865
Show Author Affiliations
Richard Pitwon, Xyratex Technology Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Alex Worrall, Xyratex Technology Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Paul Stevens, Xyratex Technology Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Allen Miller, Xyratex Technology Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Kai Wang, Xyratex Technology Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Katharine Schmidtke, Finisar Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8991:
Optical Interconnects XIV
Henning Schröder; Ray T. Chen; Alexei L. Glebov, Editor(s)

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