Lippis Report 155: The Two-Tier High-End Data Center Ethernet Fabric Network Gains Steam

August 24th, 2010

nicklippis.jpgIt hasn’t been since the mid 1990s that the networking industry was focused on multi-protocol integration or convergence. But the industry is gearing up for a major innovation and competitive cycle fueled by the multi-billion dollar addressable market for data center network fabrics. Over the last eighteen months, every major Ethernet infrastructure provider has been talking about two and three tier network fabrics for high-end data centers.

Companies such as Cisco, Arista Networks, HP/3Com, Force10, Voltaire, Extreme, Brocade, Juniper et al have announced network fabrics for data centers with five thousand and more servers with and without storage enablement. Juniper talks of a one-tier fabric through their Project Stratus work with IBM to be available some time in the future. Brocade recently introduced its Brocade One, which is a converged data center fabric. Extreme Networks launched its DirectAttachTM that eliminates virtual plus blade switch layers. HP has FlexFabric, a virtualized fabric for the data center. Cisco launched its FabricPath Switching System or FSS for the Nexus 7000 that enables massive scale of a two-tier fabric.

In this Lippis Report Research Note, we review the architectural attributes of two tier network fabrics.

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How Direct Attach from Extreme Networks Reduces Tiers in the Data Center

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August 24th, 2010

By Extreme Networks

A typical “non-virtualized” data center has three network layers, Top-of-Rack, End-of-Row and Core switches. But virtualized infrastructure adds two additional layers; the virtual switch and blade switch, raising the number of tiers from 3 to 5. This significantly increases latency plus the number of network elements within the data center resulting in increased data center management complexity.

Extreme Networks® Direct AttachTM eliminates the virtual switch layer, simplifying the network and improving performance. Extreme Networks high density BlackDiamond® 8800 series switches with 8900-series modules further enable data center simplification by utilizing high density blades and cabling to eliminate the blade switch, thereby reducing the number of tiers in the data center from 5 to 3.

Find out how by downloading this white paper:

Lippis Report 154: Is Networking Too Rigid?

August 10th, 2010

nicklippis.jpgNetworking has become “rigid”. Yes I know it’s almost absurd to attribute inflexibility or rigidity to networking. Look what TCP/IP has done for us. There are nearly 2 billion people connected to the internet and according to the Internet World Stats internet user growth rate increased by 380% between 2000-2009. With 2 billion people and growing online, accessing a plethora of applications via a wide range of end-points there is no doubt that the internet and TCP/IP has been a much bigger success than anyone would have imagined back in the early ’90s. But there’s always a give and take between computing and networking where one drives and changes the other. Right now we are in a compute innovation cycle that’s driving a fundamental change in networking which screams out the need for more flexibility.

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Improved Network Security with IP and DNS Reputation

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August 10th, 2010

By HP Networking

As cyber threats across the globe continue to increase in number and sophistication, security and networking personnel must not only work harder but also smarter to stay ahead of malicious attacks. Sophisticated scanning, penetrating, and obfuscating tools and techniques are more widely available now more than ever before. Worst of all, hackers are now highly motivated to penetrate networks, applications, and databases to steal information that can quickly be sold for profit using botnets and other resources
they control.

To learn how to defend IT assets and business reputation by download this paper from HP Networking.

HP FlexFabric Virtualize network connections and capacity From the edge to the core An HP Converged Infrastructure innovation primer

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August 10th, 2010

By HP Networking

The fundamental nature of data center computing is rapidly changing. The traditional model of separately provisioned and maintained server, storage, and network resources are constraining data center agility and pushing budget envelopes to the limit. IT organizations recognize that these static pools of isolated resources are being underutilized, a problem that can be exacerbated when dedicated infrastructure or computer systems are used to support different classes of data center workloads. One response has been for IT organizations to adopt virtualization and blade technologies, which enable a more flexible and highly utilized infrastructure. These new, more scalable technologies can be dynamically provisioned to meet continuously evolving business requirements. At the same time, these technologies apply new pressures to the multiple networks in the data center, further worsening spend issues. And it increases the burden on the IT teams that support them.

Learn how to avoid these data center problems with HP FlexFabric by downloading this white paper:

Cisco Threat Defense for Borderless Networks

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August 10th, 2010

By Cisco Systems

Traditional security techniques are unable to respond to threats that can arise from anywhere. To protect today’s borderless networks, IT managers must adapt by implementing faster, smarter security measures that monitor the constantly changing global landscape. This white paper, written for IT managers and executives, examines the security risks and needs of borderless networks, details a systematic plan of action, and describes how Cisco can help implement threat defenses that will serve you today and for years to come.

Find out how by downloading this white paper

BLADE Unified FabricArchitecture Delivers Economic & Data Center Network Design Advantages

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August 10th, 2010

Vikram MehtaI interview Vikram Mehta, President and CEO of BLADE Network Technologies or BLADE. BLADE has been offering top-of-rack and blade switches since 2006, boast nearly 9 million ports installed and are now the number 2 provider of 10GbE switches. With all this success, I ask Vikram what BLADE is being asked to offer from IT Business leaders as they build out their data center Ethernet fabric. You don’t want to miss his responses. Listen now.