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Huawei AI Fabric Raises Ethernet to a New Level

Oct 09, 2018

[Shanghai, China, October 9, 2018] Before Huawei CONNECT 2018, Huawei released the AI Fabric Ultra-High-Speed Ethernet Solution that transforms data center networking with zero packet loss, low latency, and high throughput. The solution can help customers build a Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) network that is compatible with traditional Ethernet, leading data center networks into an ultra-high-speed and lossless era.

The solution applies to Artificial Intelligence (AI), High Performance Computing (HPC), and distributed storage scenarios. It reduces the communication time between HPC nodes by up to 40 percent, while reducing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) by about 53 percent compared with dedicated networks.

AI has already become an important tool for many enterprises, and AI use is growing rapidly. As described in GIV 2025: Unfolding the Industry Blueprint of an Intelligent World[1] released by Huawei, 86 percent of enterprises will use AI by 2025. As part of this trend, 180 billion TB of new data annually will feed enterprise intelligence and value. To enable the most efficient use of this data, ICT architectures are upgrading the data storage media from traditional Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) to Solid State Drives (SSDs), which reduce latency 100 fold. For AI applications, ICT architectures are trading the traditional data-processing CPUs for Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) or even dedicated AI chips. These changes boost computing performance 100 fold or higher.

Traditional Ethernet places a bottleneck on data center network performance that prevents enterprises from taking full advantage of the latest storage and computing improvements. Enterprises need the network protocol to evolve from TCP/IP to RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE).

The Huawei AI Fabric Ultra-High-Speed Ethernet Solution uses unique congestion management and flow control technology to solve problems of long latency, easy packet loss, and low Ethernet throughput. The AI Fabric has the following characteristics:

  • Ultra-high performance: With three innovative technologies — accurate congestion flow identification, dynamic congestion waterline settings, and a fast backpressure mechanism — this solution delivers zero packet loss, high throughput, and ultra-low latency. This combination of performance enhancements improves the efficiency of demanding services such as AI training by about 40 percent.
  • Converged network: Based on a standard Ethernet architecture, one AI Fabric network can carry LAN, SAN, and Inter-Process Communication (IPC) traffic. Compared with dedicated specialized networks, this solution greatly simplifies the network architecture and cuts TCO by up to 53 percent.
  • Simplified O&M: The solution provides visualized Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the RDMA network and implements intelligent network optimization. The use of a compatible Ethernet fabric to handle all high-end applications means that specialists are no longer needed to provide O&M for dedicated networks.

Leon Wang, General Manager of Huawei Data Center Network Domain, said, “The network has shifted from a support system to a production system, and it has never been so important to business success. With over 20 years of experiences in the network field, Huawei is dedicated to cutting-edge technology research and innovative solution development. The Huawei AI Fabric will help companies build high-performance data centers to match the needs of fast innovation of services in the AI era, enabling data centers to become business value creation centers.”

Huawei AI Fabric Ultra-High-Speed Ethernet has been successfully commercialized by China Merchants Bank (CMB) through joint innovation. This solution helped CMB improve the IOPS performance of its branches’ cloud storage by about 20 percent, reconstruct the company’s data plane, and build a smart financial transformation platform. In addition, the Huawei AI Fabric won the Best of Show Award at Interop Tokyo 2018 and successfully passed the certification of an international authoritative third-party independent testing agency, the European Advanced Network Test Center (EANTC). The Huawei AI Fabric is pioneering the implementation of ultra-high-speed networks based on Ethernet and is already proven in independent testing and real-world applications.

Huawei is committed to working with customers in the long term and takes a future-oriented approach to drive enterprise digital transformation through the power of the platform. So far, 211 of the Fortune Global 500 companies (including 48 Fortune Global 100 companies) have selected Huawei as their digital transformation partner.

HUAWEI CONNECT 2018 – "Activate Intelligence" – is held at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center and Expo Center from October 10 to 12, 2018.

This year's HUAWEI CONNECT conference is designed to help all businesses and organizations step over the threshold and stake their claim in the intelligent world. You will be joined by the best minds in the industry – including global ICT leaders, industry experts, and ecosystem partners – to chart the way forward and explore new opportunities.