Dell unveils new SDN-enabled fabric solutions
By Digital News Asia August 16, 2013
- Claims convergence platform will help accelerate data centre transformation
- Announcements include new Active Fabric solutions for SDN-enabled designs
DELL has announced new additions to its networking portfolio that it said would help customers accelerate transitions to high-performance converged, virtualised and private cloud environments.
The announcements include Dell’s new Active Fabric solutions for SDN-enabled (Software-Defined Networking) designs along with the next-generation Dell Active Fabric Manager management software and the Dell Networking S5000 modular LAN/SAN (local/ storage area network) switching platform.
“We’re challenging conventional wisdom with new products and solutions designed to accelerate our customers’ migration to virtualised and cloud data centre environments,” said K.T. Ong (pic), general manager of Commercial Business at Dell Malaysia.
“We’re excited about these new offerings and their ability to simplify operations, boost performance and improve economics,” he added.
Several factors in today’s data centres have operators considering new and different network architectures beyond the traditional three-tier, monolithic systems of the past, Dell said in a statement.
These factors include virtualisation and new workloads changing the network traffic patterns and demands; SDN and the promise of network programmability; the convergence of formerly distinct technology silos; and input/output consolidation with migration to 10GbE server platforms.
These dynamics present CIOs (chief information officers) with not just architectural challenges but also budgetary and operational considerations, Dell said.
Industry analysts at Gartner cite these transformative aspects in its inaugural Magic Quadrant for Data Center Network Infrastructure.
“The data centre network market has been transformed with new architectures, new technologies and vendors specifically targeting solutions to address the changing size and density of the data centre, shifts in traffic patterns, and the increasing requirement to simplify network operations,” Gartner analysts said.
Dell Active Fabric describes the company’s approach to providing customers a modern network architecture that takes advantage of today’s technology and provides an easily-scalable path for future growth.
It provides a flat, fast, any-to-any multipath network architecture that is flexible and ideally suited for the growing amount of East-West traffic in today’s virtualised data centres and private clouds, Dell claimed.
Active Fabric solutions flatten the traditional data centre network architecture using high-density and low-latency, fixed-form factor 10/40GbE switches that can be deployed quickly and easily while reaching hyperscale proportions.
According to Gartner’s Rightsizing the Enterprise Data Center Network report, “Newer small form factor core devices can enable network managers to reduce capital costs by 30% to 70%, and save 30% or more on operations expenses, compared with chassis-based switches.”
In line with this, compared to traditional chassis-based network designs, Dell Active Fabric solutions provide up to 59% cost savings and consume up to 77% less power, the company claimed.
Meanwhile, the software abstraction layer that SDN delivers is designed to enable open programmability, making infrastructure flexible and adaptable to different customer environments.
Dell also claimed it offers a complete and unbiased approach to SDN encompassing networking virtualisation overlays (NVOs) using the leading hypervisors from Microsoft, VMware and OpenStack, as well as OpenFlow and legacy interface capabilities.
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