MIT is dragging hard-wired network chips into the agile era

Cloud computing is changing the demands on networks more quickly than ever. Now researchers say it’s possible to program routers all the way down to their packet-forwarding chips in the quest to keep up.

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and five other organizations have found a way to make data-center routers more programmable without making them slower. This could allow enterprises to take advantage of new traffic and congestion management algorithms without replacing their routers.

The project takes SDN (software-defined networking) beyond the control plane, where things like configuration are handled, and into the data plane that actually forwards packets. Now programmers can change how the network decides which packets to send and which to keep in a buffer, for example. Eventually, that might mean deploying networks with fewer routers.

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InfoWorld Cloud Computing

IBM’s Power chips hit the big time at Google

Google and Rackspace are designing a server based on IBM’s upcoming Power9 processor, a sure sign that Intel is no longer the only game in town for cloud service providers.

The companies announced plans for the system, which they call Zaius, at IBM’s OpenPower Summit in Silicon Valley on Wednesday. It’s one of several new Power servers on show at the event.

They plan to submit the design to the Open Compute Project, meaning other companies will be able to use the design as well.

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Network World Cloud Computing

Look for Amazon’s new homegrown chips in data centers, not Fire devices

Amazon’s jump into the chip business won’t change what’s in Fire devices — for now — but it’ll help the retailer drive more media delivery, file storage and cloud systems in homes and data centers.

Annapurna Labs, an Amazon subsidiary, said it would start selling a line of ARM-based chips for hardware that handles 4K video delivery, storage, IoT, cloud, and networking. The chips will be sold to makers of products for homes and data centers.

The announcement surprised many, since selling chips is a radical shift from Amazon’s bread-and-butter retail business. But the company has jumped outside its comfort zone before, dabbling in new businesses such as Web hosting with AWS (Amazon Web Services), which has become a runaway success.

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InfoWorld Cloud Computing

Intel targets IoT with new Quark chips and free cloud OS

Intel has released new processors and free cloud services as part of its latest push to capitalize on the nascent Internet of Things market.

The products include new low-power Quark processors and microcontrollers for devices that will connect to the Internet of Things, and cloud services from its Wind River subsidiary to make it easier for companies to network these devices and upload data for analysis.

The promise for organizations is that they can connect devices in their business — everything from factory equipment to goods in the supply chain — and upload data to the cloud to make their operations more efficient.

“There’s a need for a suite of connected products and services that are aware of each other and their surroundings,” said CEO Brian Krzanich at a press event in San Francisco.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing