Thursday, April 4, 2013

Oracle Announces Virtual Networking and Adds SPARC Servers/Solaris

Oracle announced its Virtual Networking open architecture for simplifying data centers using software-defined networking principles.

With Oracle Virtual Networking, the company is promising "the industry's fastest data center fabric with up to 80 Gbs  bandwidth to the server and support for Oracle's SPARC T5, T4 and M5 servers along with the Oracle Solaris 11 on both SPARC and x86 platforms.

More specifically, Oracle Virtual Networking is a data center fabric for controling larger server pools with scalable I/O. By using this architecture and its own SPARC T5 systems, Oracle can scale up to 1,000 servers and 128,000 cores of compute performance. The virtualization capabilities provide the ability to run more VMs per server and get predictable performance for applications with granular quality of service controls.

For cloud deployments, Oracle said its solution can create up to 16,000 private Ethernet layer-2 networks inside a single fabric and maintain necessary network security in multi-tenant cloud environment. Additionally, the new release of Oracle Fabric Manager 4.1 unifies management for SPARC and x86 systems deployed with the Oracle Fabric Interconnect.

Products in the Oracle Virtual Networking family include:

  • Oracle Fabric Interconnect  (formerly the Xsigo Fabric Director)-- a switch offering 20 Quad Small Form-factor Pluggable (QSFP) connectors for connection to servers, storage, or Sun Data Center InfiniBand Switch 36 systems.
  • Oracle Fabric Manager
  • Oracle Fabric Monitor
  • Oracle SDN

"As the industry's fastest data center fabric, Oracle Virtual Networking enables increased performance and agility while virtually eliminating the complexity in traditional data centers," said Raju Penumatcha, vice president, Product Development, Netra Systems and Networking, Oracle. "Now with added support for the fastest processors on the planet and the first cloud OS, customers can leverage the benefits of Oracle Virtual Networking in both SPARC and x86 environments."

In July 2012, Oracle acquired Xsigo Systems, a start-up in San Jose, California that developed network virtualzation technology. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The Xsigo Server Fabric aims to do for infrastructure what VMware did for the servers -- namely, to enable one-click network connections from virtual machines to any data center resource – including servers, networks, storage, and other virtual machines.

By providing this "one click" tool to connect VMs to networks and storage while using existing Ethernet routers + FC directors, Xsigo calculates that it can reduce the number of I/O cables and cards in a data center by up to 70%, thereby significantly cutting deployment CAPEX and simplifying operations.

The Xsigo Server Fabric is a rack-based solution that works by virtualizing connections between networks, servers and storage, not by re-configuring switches, switch ports, or VLANs. It supports Ethernet and Fibre Channel connections at up to 40 Gbps.

Environments can be scaled to 1,000 physical hosts with tens of thousands of virtual connections linking virtual machines to each other and to network and storage resources. Xsigo said its fabric is fully interoperable with existing core networking products from Cisco, Brocade, Juniper and others.

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