Chapter 2

Layers and the Evolution of Communications Networks

Abstract

Cloud computing is forcing change beyond just the IT strategies of enterprises; it is core to the businesses of the Internet content providers while also enabling telcos to transform their businesses. The enablers of cloud include data centers crammed with servers, and optical interconnect. Optics is used to link IT equipment within the data center and to provide the high-capacity traffic transport between data centers. This interworking of telecom and datacom technologies is complex but can be simplified by segmenting the networking into layers. This chapter introduces a four-layer model—from wide area networks down to the chip—as a way to describe the hierarchy of interconnects ...

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