We always tend to believe that the best innovation’s come from the future, from technologies we’ve never heard of. But new isn’t always better.
Take Google, one of the planet’s biggest and most innovative companies in the world. When searching for a new way to centralize all of their activity, there was nothing on the market at that time that would manage their network efficiently. Moreover, no technologies were in development that would have been able to help.
Google’s solution: Look to the past. Just like your history teach always used to tell you, you can learn a lost from the past and what it can teach us for the future. Using this philosophy, Google turned to the Clos architecture, a system used in the very early days of telephone networks, to develop a single control plane for all of its traffic.
Although they did not invent the idea, revisiting old technology for modern solutions is an ingenious way to manage such a uniquely large network. During development of this system, Google was doubling their traffic every 12-15 months, and no technology on the market came close to meeting their needs. By activating a Clos system, this gives them the ability to manage their switches as a group, just like their servers and storage arrays. It also gave the ability to control the network as a single entity!