Executives from Calxeda, SeaMicro, and Big Switch Networks were on stage at GigaOM Structure this morning to discuss how fabrics could further disrupt and innovate the data center. There are internal fabrics that connect tens and hundreds of cores on a server and external fabrics that are tasked with networking thousands of servers themselves. Fabrics matter to energy efficiency because a well built fabric reduces the number of components on a board and allows lower power parallel processing to function well. The core point that all panelists agreed on was that the number of servers is expanding very quickly, particularly virtual servers, and that current market leaders—EMC, Cisco, Intel—are not well equipped for building the fabric for new hyperscale data centers. Moreover, as compute is moved to the cloud, more power is in the hands of the big guys like Amazon who are most likely to disrupt and innovate. It’s a brave new world.