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Dell Adds 132 40GbE Fabric Switch to Its SDN/NFV Portfolio

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

Dell continues to promote open software-defined networking (SDN) and the adoption of network function virtualization (NFV). The company has announced their latest generation data center switch, the Dell Networking Z9500 Fabric Switch, along with the Dell Active Fabric Controller, an SDN platform. Dell also recently became the head of CloudNFV, an NFV testing and implementation group.

"As technology has advanced, fixed-form-factor solutions have proven lower cost, lower latency with a higher degree of reliability," says Shane Stakem, senior director of Network Operations at Joyent Inc. "We have become believers that the spine and leaf fabric design, which Dell Networking has based on open standards, is not only here to stay but, in fact, has a substantial advantage over competing solutions such as proprietary lock-in fabrics."

Designed with enterprise network operations in mind, the Z9500 Fabric Switch provides many improvements over the last generation. The 10/40 GbE switch provides a suite of L2/L3 routing and switching protocols, and runs on a pay-as-you-grow model. Other features include:

  •  Throughput of 10 Tbps and half the latency compared to the previous generation.
  •  132 40GbE ports (expandable up to 528 GbE ports).
  •  Licensing for 36, 84 or 132 port stock keeping units (SKUs).

Dell Networking Z9500 Fabric Switch. Image courtesy of Dell.Dell Networking Z9500 Fabric Switch. Image courtesy of Dell.With the Z9500, Dell also promises greater energy efficiency; according to an internal study, the Z9500 consumed about half the power per port against Cisco's 6004.

The Dell Active Fabric Controller is a new SDN platform designed specifically for enterprise OpenStack deployments. The integrated solution supports plug-and-play networking and customized policy awareness, as well as auto-adapting fabric features that can be centrally monitored.

According to Dell's press release, "From simple plug-and-play device discovery and provisioning, automated topology and forwarding optimization, fabric wide programmability and a simple operational lifecycle, Dell Active Fabric Controller offers a new vision for networking. Active Fabric Controller serves a fundamental building block on both enterprise control software as well as a key element of accelerating NFV deployments with its integration into OpenStack."

You can find more information on the Z9500 Fabric Switch and the Active Fabric Controller at their respective product pages.

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