Monday, October 17, 2011

Cisco Scales Data Center Fabric to over 12,000 10GE Ports

Cisco is scaling its Unified Fabric data center architecture to support over 12,000 10GE server ports in a single fabric using its Nexus series switches -- this is double the capacity of Juniper's Qfabric, according to the company. Cisco promises to deliver the solution at lower cost than its competitor as well.

The new data center fabric scalability is provided in second generation capabilities for Cisco FabricPath in Nexus 7000 Series and Nexus5500 switches.

The new Fabric 2 module and new high density L2/L3 10GbE F2 Series line card enable up to 768 Line Rate L2/L3 10GbE ports to be packed into a single Nexus 7000 Series chassis. Power is reduced to less than 10W per 10GE port.

The company is introducing the Nexus 7009, featuring a compact form factor (14RU) and high availability and virtualization support. Cisco also added new switches with sub-microsecond latency to the Nexus 3000 ultra-low latency switching series, and introduced a virtualized version of its ASA security appliance to deliver consistent security for virtualized and cloud environments.

  • In March 2011, Cisco rolled out a series of updates and enhancements across its Data Center Business Advantage portfolio, including the Cisco Nexus 7000 family and Nexus 5000 Series, the new ultra-low latency platform Cisco Nexus 3000, Cisco MDS storage switches, the Cisco Unified Computing System, the Cisco Data Center Network Manager, and Cisco NX-OS, the comprehensive data center operating system that spans the Cisco data center portfolio. These enhancements included Fabric Extender Technology (FEX) -- enables customers to build a single, modular fabric that extends from Cisco Nexus switches to Cisco Unified Computing System servers to adapters and to virtual machines -- and Director-Class Multi-hop Fibre Channel over Ethernet.

  • In February 2011, Juniper Networks unveiled its QFabric architecture for collapsing multilayer data center infrastructure into a single, any-to-any fabric that unifies networking, storage and cloud computing resources. Initially, QFabric scales to 6,000 network nodes, allowing any network interface within the network to connect to any other interface in a single hop. Juniper achieves this 6,000 port switching fabric by decoupling the line cards on the central fabric and moving them out into the network using dual-homed fiber connections. The entire 6,000 node network is a single switch and can be managed as such.

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