After a recent visit to China, we talked about the
country’s future – the incredible population growth, where fishing villages are
transforming into megacities, not to mention the
relentless move towards self-driving cars and autonomous vehicles. It’s easy to reflect on the nation’s
technology revolution, given 1.3 billion people have mobile devices and almost everyone is using WeChat.
However, I’m going to briefly reflect on cultural
history. I uncovered the 2,500 year-old
Chinese game of Go, also known commonly in Asia as the “weiqi”, which is perhaps
the most complex game ever developed. Players take turns placing stones on a
board, trying to surround opponent's stones and capture more than 50 percent of
the board. With 361 stones
and 361 positions on the board, the number of possible moves during a game is
10 170, more than twice the number of atoms in the
Computing your way to victory in this game is
impossible. After all, the Sunway TaihuLight, at China’s National
Supercomputing Centre, can only muster a measly 93,000 trillion calculations
per second. So how is it that, in January 2016, Google’s AlphaGo,
an AI-driven program, beat three-time European Go champion Fan Hui…five times
in a row?
Turns out AlphaGo used a combination of computational
power, the experience of over 30 million actual games and a touch of intuition.
Oddly, this formula can also shed light on the secret to developing a
future-proof high speed migration strategy for your data center’s
The surging demand for higher bandwidth and lower
latency in today’s data center is literally rewiring the network’s
infrastructure in real time, as enterprise and co-location facilities race to
adapt. The industry has responded with a dizzying array of high speed
networking components, optical technologies and new standards. Much like the
number of possible moves in Go, the number of migration paths is daunting. But
not all of them lead to an infrastructure that is resilient and agile enough to
support the link speeds and applications – known and unknown – that are coming.
This brings us back to AlphaGo’s recipe for success.
calculation. A successful migration is one that solves your
immediate challenges while keeping the greatest number of viable options open
for the future. This becomes important when talking about MPO fiber connectors
and modules. Of the three main types available – 8-fiber, 12-fiber and 24-fiber,
the 24-fiber enables the greatest number of configurations. Just as easily, we
can calculate the cost-benefit of using pre-terminated versus field-terminated
fiber. With port densities escalating, pre-term is the way to go.
awareness. This is all about perspective and understanding the
trajectory of innovation. Look at the Ethernet roadmap over the last five
years. The call for 40Gbps lane speeds is fading and is being replaced by newer
standards in which 25Gbps is the next milepost, followed by 50Gbps and 100Gbps
after that. Understand how the standards are evolving, you will know what
decisions to make.
A dash of
intuition. Lastly, there is no substitute for front-line experience…lots of it.
Which technology paths can take you far and which are more likely to be
dead-ends? What applications have reached critical market mass and which are
still a few years off? The bottom line is that you can’t simply calculate your
way to victory—not in Go nor data center migration—with sheer computational
power. It takes understanding, experience and a portfolio of modular,
future-proof solutions. Sounds a lot like CommScope.
To learn more about crafting a successful high-speed migration strategy,
start by taking this short and fun quiz. Then watch your inbox for an invitation to take a deeper dive.
In addition, join me in our “Expect More’ roadshow in Hong Kong at Ritz
Carlton Hotel on August 29, from 1-5pm to learn more about our high speed migration
portfolio. For more information on the roadshow, please log on to the CommScope