LinkedIn data center designs 100G switch called Pigeon

LinkedIn has designed a new 100G data center switch called Pigeon that can be used as a leaf or a spine switch. The architecture is based on the Tomahawk 3.2 Tbps merchant silicon and works with Linux OS.

Google was the first web-scale or cloud data center operator to create its own switches and Facebook followed it with its 40G switch called Six Pack. By mid this year, Facebook plans to launch and deploy 100G switches at scale in its data centers.

As LinkedIn user base has increased from 55 million members from 2009 to 400 million by 3Q 2015, it was on constant search for innovation in its data center environment.

After network latency issues cropped up in 2013 for LinkedIn, its data center engineers realized that they would have to build a data center networking solution from scratch.

As soon as LinkedIn team of engineers traced the latency problems to subsequent microbursts of traffic, they started to hunt for a solution. As commercial switch vendors do not expose buffers inside third-party merchant silicon chips, the engineers decided to design a switch which addresses all these issues at one go. Moreover, all those network switches operating in LinkedIn data center were also slow to address software bugs and lacked the features to filter them.

This is where the design of ‘Pigeon’ came into existence, where it had the features of Linux based automation tools such as Puppet and Chef and more modern monitoring and logging software. And most importantly the custom made in-house design was working out on an economic note.

More details will be updated shortly!





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