New and Old Networking Topology for Edge Data Center's for Cellular, Part 4

Most who are working on edge data centers are not networking people and edge data centers are  thought of an expansion of existing data centers. An example is the application to Cellular Sites/Towers and many thinking that micro data centers will show up at all the cellular sites and many more will show up.

Data Foundry has a nice post on Edge Data Centers.

data processing power at the edge of a network instead of in a cloud or a central data warehouse.

This is a common description of what the edge data center is. But what few ask is what is the network topology for edge data centers. below is an example of cellular network.


When you look at this diagram there are many that assume that the complex network is bypassed by putting content on the edge.

As part of the movement to 5G there are many changes coming which includes a Network Function Virtualization. If you think the cellular network is going to change to support 5G, then check out this Network World post from 2014.

Clos networks is one of those enduring concepts that we will undoubtedly see again and again in the evolution of networking technologies.

Interactive Submarine Cables Map by ESRI

We have all seen submarine cable maps. What is nice is ESRI has one that is a live map. The link is here.


You can review the cables based on year, cables, or landing points.

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Why We Love It

Deep on the ocean floor you will find communication cables made to carry signals from one land to another. The first undersea communications cables, laid in the 1850s, carried telegraphy. Now these cables carry our phone and Internet traffic. Yet, they remain relatively hidden in the depths of the ocean. We love how this map lets us explore global cable connections. We can see the cables all at once or focus on interdependencies by using the contents pane to filter by construction year, a specific cable, or a landing point.

Why It Works

When we view undersea cable data on a global scene view, we get a real sense of how these cables tie together the world’s populated places. This map uses spheres and tubes to symbolize the landing points and cables. This works to emphasize connectivity while remaining playful and easy to understand. When you filter information based on a single cable, landing point, or construction year, you can see interdependencies that are otherwise less obvious. This map does not rely on traditional pop-ups when you select a feature, but instead hides all unrelated features.

Undersea Cable and The Law

On lawfareblog I found this post.

“One of the U.S. economy’s most critical resources is the massive network of undersea cables that transverse the globe, carrying the overwhelming majority of all internet traffic. Over400fiber optic cablescarry99% of transoceanic data, providing the physical links that bind our digital world together. This global infrastructure rests almost entirely in the hands of private companies.

In the modern geopolitical environment, the vulnerability of undersea communications cables stands out as an acute cyber security concern. Relatively little attention, however, has focused on the legal frameworks that govern the networks of glass and steel that form the literal backbone of our internet. This post lays out the threats to communications cables and the existing international laws protecting cables from intentional damage.”

This article has some great details that is hard to find.  

One suggestion that I didn’t see in the article was to work with a Telecom in a country who has decades of experience and the majority of times the country has an interest to protect the undersea cables.

In the article they referenced Microsoft’s Brad Smith, president and chief legal officer call for a Digital Geneva Convention.

A good idea works small and big, Chris Crosby’s Network Mesh Slide

In Chris Crosby’s presentation at Fall 7x24 Exchange conference Chris had a hidden point that was powerful but not explained to the audience.  Here is what I posted about Chris’s talk

The slide that I didn’t mention is below. 


Chris uses this to discuss clusters and network in the building.  If you focus on the first two points you can expand the idea to networking beyond buildings.


Chris was telling people how they can apply networking ideas to an individual building and to all buildings that are in the network mesh, including colo, CDN/POP. All these physical buildings participate in the network mesh and designing for network mesh in a building applies to the colocation and POP locations as well, but few unify the efforts thinking of the physical and logical components of physical infrastructure that support the network mesh.

Chris Crosby #7x24Exchange Hyperscale DC + Network Mesh

Chris Crosby gave a thought leadership presentation on “Understanding Hyperscale Campus Compartmentalizations”

One of the great observations Chris discussed is when a redundancy of 2 is not enough. Really need 3. Ideally 5. 


Consider the below network mesh image shows how 2 connections would not be enough.


How do you compartmentalize the stuff that runs on the intermesh network. The below slide goes through the logical and physical elements to support the network mesh.


So What do you do? Chris presents the idea of Intermeshed Networking applied to the physical building.


Consider Chris has spent much of his time in the past building huge data centers while at Digital Realty. In 2011 is when Chris left Digital. Think about how much the data center environment has changed in these 6 years. The physical data center have not changed much for many, but what is in the data center has changed in ways like Network Fabrics.  And now Chris is saying that there are limits to giant buildings that need to be designed for Intermeshed Networking and there are many details in the physical and logical design.

Chris’s summary is something that interestingly are conclusions I have arrived at my own, but haven’t taken the time to write about publicly. 

When you take the Intermesh within the data center it is a logical step to apply it to the portfolio of facilities and how they work in a mesh. 


Here is what a data center network fabric looks like.  This is what data centers are being designed for.