Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Dell Acquisition of Force10 Provides Entry to Open Clouds for Data Centers

Dell agreed to acquire Force10 Networks with an aim of expanding its data center solutions portfolio. Financial terms were not disclosed.


Dell said its strategy over the past three years has been to develop an integrated stack of leading server, storage, networking and services resources. The vision calls for an orchestration of the underlying server, storage, and network resources in an open fashion, agnostic of whether they are physical or virtual, local or remote, Dell or ecosystem-provided. The acquisition of Force10 and investment in networking is seen as a natural complement to Dell's strength in the server market.


Force10, which is based in San Jose, California, is nearly a $200-million company, based on trailing 12 months revenue, with approximately 80 percent of its business in North America and operating in over 60 countries worldwide. Force10's Open Cloud Networking is based on open standards, automation and virtualization.


Dell said that like past acquisitions of Compellent and EqualLogic, it is committed to maintaining and growing Force10's channel program. Force10's customers include leading Web 2.0 and Fortune 100 companies, Internet portals, global carriers, leading research laboratories and government organizations with some of the world's most demanding network environments. http://www.dell.com http://www.force10networks.com

  • In April 2011, Force10 Networks introduced its Open Cloud Networking (OCN) vision for cloud and conventional data centers built on open architectures, open automation, and open ecosystems.



    Force10's OCN framework represents a new way to build, scale and manage data centers powered by a new family of centralized and distributed core switches, a top of rack (ToR) open cloud switch and automation software. The solutions address cloud, conventional, virtualized, and non-virtualized data centers.


    Three key elements of the OCN architecture include:


    Open Architecture – OCN enables standards-based open architectures that are interoperable with competitors offering customers a choice in how they build their core and top-of-rack elements in the data center. New building blocks for these open architectures include:




    • The new Z9000 distributed core switch, which enables highly scalable, leaf-and-spine data center architectures, is one of the smallest and least expensive core switches ever offered. Designed in a 2RU form factor, it delivers 128 10 GbE ports for 2.5 Tbps of switching capacity in 1/10 the space and with 1/20 the power consumption at 1/5 the price of competing products. The Z9000 switch will list for $175,000 and will be available for customer shipments in July 2011.


    • The new Z9512 is a centralized, chassis-based switch that delivers 9.6 Tbps of switching capacity in half a rack. For more conventional data center cores, Force10's new Z9512 is a chassis-based switch that offers 480 line-rate, non-blocking 10GbE ports, 96 line-rate, non-blocking 40 GbE ports, and 48 line-rate, non-blocking 100 GbE ports in a 19RU form factor. At 9.6 Tbps switching capacity and an initial 400 Gbps per-slot switching capacity (four times the slot capacity of other switches), sub-5 microsecond latency and an 8-Gigabyte packet buffer for each of its 12 line cards, the Z9512 delivers industry-leading performance in a centralized core switch. It could be used for centralized data center cores, aggregation of flat Layer 2 topologies, or aggregation of hierarchical Layer 3 topologies as well as for multi-service deployments incorporating Gigabit Ethernet, 10 GbE, 40 GbE, and 100 GbE. The Z9512 switch will be available in the second half of 2011 and pricing will be configuration dependent.


    • The S7000 Open Cloud Switch is a next-generation ToR device that incorporates 3-in-1 ToR convergence of switching, storage, and application processing capabilities. The switch has the ability to run third-party applications directly. It supports both Ethernet and storage traffic. It supports Data Center Bridging (DCB) and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE). The S7000 can be configured as an FCoE transit switch or FCOE gateway. The S7000 Open Cloud Switch will be available in the second half of 2011.


    • New FTOS advanced software features including TRILL (Transparent Interconnection of Lots of Links), DCB (Data Center Bridging), EVB (Ethernet Virtual Bridging), and VEPA (Virtual Ethernet Port Aggregation).


    Open Automation 2.0In Q3, Force10 plans to open the "ScriptStore", an online resource and forums that will allow users to purchase automation scripts and share techniques for automating Force10 products. In addition, Force10 has enhanced the Open Automation Framework with port profile support, EVB/VEPA, and HyperLinks.

    Open Ecosystems – partners in the compute, storage, applications and orchestration domains to ensure standards-based interoperability for its OCN solutions.


  • In 2009, Turin Networks merged with Force10 Networks. The deal combined leading equipment suppliers for the service provider and enterprise data center markets. Turin Networks was a leading provider in the wireless backhaul aggregation market with products deployed in more than 60 thousand North American cell sites. Force10 Networks offered high-performance equipment for data centers.

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