Fields of Fiber

    Building Momentum into 2017

    Posted by Bill Miller on Sep 7, 2016 7:30:00 AM

    Many people have asked me what Fiber Mountain has been up to this year. Here is a look at the key highlights of the year so far, and what’s in store as we prepare for 2017:

    2016 Recognition

    First, we are very proud of the fact that we continue to be recognized as a provider of innovative data center solutions. In the first half of 2016, we have already earned awards for CrossCage Plus, the Glass Core automated cross-connect solution, and earned recognition from Gartner as a “Cool Vendor.”

    Our 2016 awards and recognition include:

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    Topics: Industry News, CrossCage Plus, Glass Core

    Building Networks to Withstand IoT - News of the Week, 3/25/16

    Posted by Anthea Strezze on Mar 25, 2016 3:01:01 PM

    There was a lot of Google news in the past few days, but even though I’m a huge fan, I see another pattern in the articles we shared this week that is more interesting. Specifically, the demand that the Internet of Things (IoT) places on networks everywhere is huge and growing – and is going to require new approaches to infrastructure. What’s the ideal approach? Well, that’s a question that different vendors and analysts are still weighing in on.

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    Topics: Glass Core, SDN, Industry News, SDDC, Iot

    Is SDN the Ethernet of the 80’s or ATM of the 90’s?

    Posted by Bill Miller on Feb 29, 2016 1:00:00 PM

    Everyone knows what Ethernet is, but how many people who started their careers in the past fifteen years have heard of ATM? No, not Automatic Teller Machine – Asynchronous Transfer Mode, a technology that dominated the hype cycle in the 90’s and then disappeared from public awareness, despite the fact that many applications still make use of it today.

    I have had the pleasure of being deeply involved in the industry through many changes. In 1980, I was in the field with Digital Equipment Corporation when the Ethernet DIX standard was launched to market. Later, I became a product manager of Ethernet at Prime Computer. In the 90’s, I was heavily involved in ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) with General DataComm, heading up ATM product management and marketing. Moving on, I led cloud operations for a VoIP provider. Most recently I became deeply immersed in the SDN (Software Defined Networking) world with Fiber Mountain.

    The way I see it, the past four decades were dominated by four main networking technologies:

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    Topics: Glass Core, Network Architecture, SDN

    Expert Interview Series: M. H. Raza

    Posted by Guest Post by Josh Bland on Oct 28, 2015 8:30:00 AM

    M. H. Raza, the Founder & CEO of Fiber Mountain, was a recent guest on my TechnologyAdvice Expert Interview Series. The series explores a variety of business and technology landscapes through conversations with industry leaders.

    In this episode, we discussed everything from network architecture to virtualization and Glass Core.

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    Topics: Glass Core, SDN, ITEXPO

    OEO vs. OOO: A Breakdown

    Posted by M. H. Raza on Sep 30, 2015 3:08:56 PM
    Fiber Mountain’s Glass Core has been recognized as an innovation in the data center space multiple times since its launch in 2014. The Glass Core is based on the company’s Optical Path Exchange (OPX) product line, which provides a very low latency 5-nanosecond transit time. As we discuss applications for the OPX, many times we look at the merits of Optical-Electrical-Optical (OEO) and Optical-Optical-Optical (OOO) technology. 

    The debate about which technology is better has gone on for more than a decade, and there are good reasons to deploy either solution. However, with advancements in electrical cross-point switching in recent times, there are significant advantages that the OEO architecture offers that were not available a decade ago.
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    Topics: Glass Core

    Low Latency Datacenter Networks – Why Nanoseconds Matter

    Posted by Jonathan Reeves on Aug 11, 2015 11:22:00 AM

    Fiber Mountain OPX measured at 5 nanosecond port-to-port latency, to one or many output destinations

    A significant and important performance metric in any network is latency, or the time taken for information to be relayed from an input port to an output port. There have been many industry papers written on the topic, and recent advances in computing performance, storage performance and network bandwidth bring greater focus to the impact of latency on user experience and application performance.

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    Topics: Glass Core, OPX

    Data Center Transformation to SDN-based architecture: Upgrade cycle or Expansion?

    Posted by Bill Miller on Jul 28, 2015 9:05:00 AM

    Mass adoption of SDN will definitely drive acceleration in data center upgrade cycles - once a critical mass of companies adopt it, their competitors will need to hurry to catch up, just to stay competitive. While we're getting closer, I don't think we're at that point yet, but even now, nearly every company with a data center has some sort of upgrade cycle or expansion in one stage of progress or another.

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    Topics: Glass Core, SDN

    How Fiber Mountain Future-Proofs Your Data Center

    Posted by M. H. Raza on Feb 11, 2015 3:06:37 PM
    By now you most likely noticed that one of the topics I focus on continually is the problem data centers face today in meeting bandwidth needs. Until now, data centers were forced to purchase fire-breathing, million-dollar core switches to handle the growing volume of traffic, a solution that is both expensive and inefficient.

    You also likely understand that our Glass Core™ is Fiber Mountain’s™ solution to the problem I mentioned above. Glass Core replaces many of the core and aggregation switches that are currently occupying space, drawing immense power and causing latency inside data center networks with hundreds of intelligent fiber cables that can connect any two devices on the network, creating what we call connectivity virtualization.

    What you may not know, however, is that Fiber Mountain’s solutions can do more than just help you reduce cost and increase capacity right now; they can also prepare you for a future that we believe will look quite different from today. What does that mean?

    Well, I look at it two ways:

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    Topics: Virtualization, Glass Core

    From Las Vegas to Miami

    Posted by M. H. Raza on Jan 15, 2015 9:23:26 AM

    Last August, a few members of the Fiber Mountain team, me included, flew to Las Vegas to take part in Technology Marketing Corporation’s ITEXPO conference at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas. I gave a brief talk at one of the conference’s collocated events, Software Telco Congress—the NFV and SDN event—introducing the tenets of Fiber Mountain’s message for the first time anywhere.  

    Even though we were still technically in stealth mode at the time, after nearly two years of planning, finally bringing our message to light was certainly a little nerve-wracking. In introducing the idea of Connectivity Virtualization—where intelligent fiber cables replace and improve the functionality of unwieldy and expensive core switches—we were putting forth a concept that we believe will transform network architecture and make the incumbent vendors’ fire-breathing hardware obsolete. 

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    Topics: Events, Glass Core, SDN

    Fiber Mountain and Facebook Fabric Networks: Similarities and Differences

    Posted by M. H. Raza on Jan 11, 2015 9:09:00 AM

    If you’ve been keeping up with data center network news—and if you’re reading this blog I assume you have been—you’ve probably read about Facebook’s new data center fabric. The company recently deployed this new architecture in a data center in Iowa with the goal of increasing scalability and flexibility, both of which are critical for an organization that handles a tremendous amount of network traffic.

    Essentially, Facebook’s new architecture was designed to break away from the aggregation cycle (for more on that, click here) to create a more elegant and efficient network. Rather than continuing to rely on clusters of hundreds of server cabinets with top of rack (TOR) switches aggregated to large core switches, Facebook created a distributed network by disseminating core switching functionality to several spine switches that make the company less reliant on massive hardware from incumbent switch vendors.

    The company built this new architecture by creating 48-node pods, each served by spine switches. It also built its own management software that can automatically configure white box switches; so if Facebook wants to scale by adding a new device in the data center, the software recognizes that new machine and configures it to match Facebook specs. (Click here or here if you’re interested in a more in-depth look at Facebook’s new design).

    What Facebook has done with its new topology is demonstrate that you can build a large, scalable architecture using smaller switches to do the same work as larger devices. They’re using more distributed switching and essentially telling us that the world no longer needs the unwieldy core switch hardware at the middle of the network that incumbent vendors have had so much success selling in recent years. In fact, taken a step further, Facebook’s reliance on white box switches also proves that you can build a large, efficient network without using any switches from the large incumbent vendors.

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    Topics: Glass Core, Network Architecture, SDN