Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Marvell Unveils 802.1BR-compliant Prestera PX PIPE for Data Centres

Marvell, a major provider of storage, networking and connectivity semiconductor solutions, has introduced its new Prestera PX Passive Intelligent Port Extender (PIPE) family, designed to significantly reduce power consumption, complexity and cost in the data centre.

Marvell noted that data centres featuring 10 and 25 Gigabit Ethernet port speeds have faced challenges with regards to lowering opex and capex costs as bandwidth demand increases. The new purpose-built PIPE port extender solution from Marvell supports the IEEE 802.1BR standard and is designed to offer a new approach for the deployment of top of rack (ToR) switches that enables a claimed halving in both the power and cost compared with a traditional Ethernet switch.

PIPE technology allows data centres to be architected using a simplified, low cost and low power port extender in place of the ToR switch and shifts the heavy duty switching functionality upstream. The company noted that as the industry transitions from 10 to 25 Gigabit Ethernet and from 40 to 100 Gigabit Ethernet port speeds, data centres require a new, modular building block to bridge the range of current and next-generation port speeds.

Marvell’s PIPE family is designed to provide a flexible and scalable solution that can simplify and speed the transition to higher port speeds via support for multiple configuration options of Ethernet connectivity for a range of port speeds and densities.

Through the implementation of IEEE 802.1BR and removing the need for per-box management, Marvell aims to streamline network development and simplify centralised management of the hundreds of thousands of ports in a data centre. To facilitate the adoption of PIPE, it incorporates a programmable packet header editor that provides interoperability with a range of networking equipment. Marvell's PIPE solution also integrates fast-fail-over and resiliency functionality for high availability applications.

Marvell noted that it collaborated with leading ODMs and OEMs to deliver Prestera PX-ready platforms for ToR switch applications. Samples and reference designs for the Prestera PX family of solutions are available immediately.

In October 2016, Marvell introduced an optimised 25 Gigabit Ethernet end-to-end data centre solution designed as an alternative to 10 Gigabit Ethernet solutions and to provide more computing bandwidth and improved efficiency to help operators handle increasing data traffic volumes. The 25 Gigabit Ethernet solution integrates its IEEE 25/100 Gigabit Ethernet-compliant Prestera switches and Alaska Ethernet transceivers and targets ToR applications.

Marvel claims that the Prestera devices with integrated 25 Gbit/s PHYs enable data centres to breach the 1 W per-25 Gbit/s port barrier for 25 Gbit/s ToR applications.


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