Technology

Why continuous-flow beats stop and go
A data rotor is a top-of-stack server interconnect employing Lightfleet’s continuous-flow technology to expedite the transport of packets between server computers and other servers and the cloud.

As an analogy, think of a network of interconnected servers as a grid of city streets.

Like network switches, computer-controlled stop lights regulate traffic at every intersection. With various sensor inputs and complex programming, this system can be made more efficient, but in the end, the efficiency, throughput and vehicle speeds are limited to the inherent stop-and-go wait times of supervisory control and switching.

Now imagine that same street grid, but with roundabouts at every intersection instead of stop lights. The traffic flows continuously as the decisions to proceed are made, not by a switched control system, but by individual drivers steering their vehicles to the correct exit for their intended destinations.

A Lightfleet data rotor is like a multi-lane roundabout, which can keep traffic flowing and clear congestion much faster than switch-based systems subject to a control plane. Taking the switches out is like taking the stoplights out. To support heavier data flow and avoid hotspots, add more lanes to the roundabout.

Flow control is no longer a supervisory function. A Data Rotor allows priority data to surge ahead of normal traffic in faster lanes of the vortex without holding up other traffic.

A switch-free Data Rotor can absorb huge amounts of traffic. Just as a multi-lane roundabout can handle dozens of package delivery trucks, all dispatched from a single location, a Data Rotor can do multicasting by releasing multiple packets of data from a single source into the stream simultaneously. It distributes data faster than any switched interconnect can, especially in times of heavy congestion, and by making it easy to add “lanes” to the interconnect, the Lightfleet Data Rotor architecture provides a solution for curing the gridlock of network hot-spots.

The first Data Rotor from Lightfleet is so fast and powerful, we’ve named it (Blackmore), because it interconnects 48 servers.

Continuous-flow Interconnect Theory of Operation
Instead of controlling the pathway for each data packet using switches that are set by a control plane as current data distribution technology does, Lightfleet’s Data Rotor technology transports packets in a continuous flow to destinations that recognize data intended for them, ignoring all other data passing by. Because the reception of data packets is managed by the recipient servers,and no switching is needed upstream, parallel transfers can readily take place.