Thursday, February 7, 2013

Dell Pushes Ahead into SDN Cloud Data Centers

Dell advanced its strategy for cloud data centers with the introduction of a top-of-rack switch with 40G fabric uplinks and Fibre Channel over Ethernet , high performance 10/40G blade switching products, and the commercial release of OpenFlow software-defined networking in the Force10 operating system.

Dell said these additions underline its commitment to software-defined infrastructure. The company is pursuing a "complete and unbiased approach to SDN" by embracing legacy networking environments, greenfield controller-based deployments as well as hypervisor-oriented architectures.

Key elements of the announcement:

  • The new Dell S4820T top-of-rack (ToR) switch is powered by the Force10 operating system (FTOS) and designed to support both Layer 2 and Layer 3 functionality required for Web 2.0, enterprise and cloud server provider data centers. It features low cost 10GBASE-T connectivity, a common data center bridging-enabled 10G switching fabric, support for Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) using twisted-pair cabling, and four 40G uplinks providing for high-speed fabric connectivity enabling scalable multi-rack deployments demanded by larger customers.
  • The new Dell MXL blade switch and the Dell PowerEdge M I/O Aggregator support migration of 10/40G in the data center and more streamlined architectures for server and storage connectivity.

    The Dell MXL - powered by FTOS and purpose-built for the Dell PowerEdge M1000e blade server chassis - is a full-featured 1/10/40GbE Layer 2 and Layer 3 blade switch that offers increased bandwidth, scalability, performance and operational simplicity for data center and campus environments.

    The Dell PowerEdge M I/O Aggregator offers similar connectivity options and is optimized for plug-and-play simplicity and rapid configuration-free deployments.  Both products support local switching of server-to-server (east-west) traffic within the PowerEdge 1000e chassis.
  • The OpenFlow support is now available in the FTOS code base for the Dell Z9000 and S4810 data center switches.  Dell said it is fully compliant with available standards-based OpenFlow controllers, including the Big Switch Controller from Dell partner Big Switch Networks.