Implementing a Fully-Virtualized Data Center

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By Ken Won, Force10 Networks

Most IT organizations have implemented server, storage and/
or network virtualization to some degree, but to fully realize
the benefits of virtualization, IT organizations need to consider
adopting all three in an integrated manner. Server virtualization for
x86 servers has been around for about a decade, and is relatively
mature. Storage virtualization is not quite as mature, but numerous
storage virtualization products are available today. And while
network virtualization in the form of VLANs and VPN has been
around for many years, new types of network virtualization are just
now being introduced to the industry. In this white paper, we’ll
take a look at virtualized servers, storage, and networking, and see
how automated network switching helps unify these environments
into a cohesive whole.

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Posted in Enterprise Virtualization, Force10 Networks, White Papers

Distributed Core Architecture Using the Z9000 Core Switching System

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by Force10 Networks

As data centers scale to support thousands of servers, IT managers are seeking better ways to network those servers while reducing costs and power consumption. Moreover, in large-scale data center cluster environments, inter-node communication bandwidth is increasingly becoming the main bottleneck. Compute nodes located across different physical switches may not have full bandwidth in a conventional hierarchical network design of interconnected switches. The solution is a distributed core architecture based on low-cost, high-capacity switches. This paper describes the use of Force10 Network’s® Z9000™ core switching system in a distributed core architecture to address these issues.

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Posted in Data Center Switching, Force10 Networks, White Papers

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Open Cloud Networking: Unlocking the Full Potential of Cloud Computing

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by Force10 Networks

Cloud computing is an emerging computing model that promises a new era of flexibility and control in providing data center resources. In the cloud model, data center managers can mix and match computing, storage, and networking resources to provide an agile and highly flexible resource for customer applications. To realize the full potential, this paradigm requires open, standardized interfaces between data center layers of compute resources, the network, and storage elements. While the industry has moved toward open computing and storage layers over the past few years, networking has remained largely proprietary. Force10’s Open Cloud NetworkingSM framework is intended to unlock the network layer so data center operators can get the most out of their data center architectures and, in turn, get the most out of their cloud deployments.

Force10 Networks Introduces New Era of Open Cloud Networking

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Force10 introduced a disruptive set of products to address the new cloud networking market driven by massive virtualization and cloud spec scale data centers. First its new Z9000 Distributed Core System promises to be 1/10th the footprint, at 1/5th the price and 1/20th the power consumption of other core switches. The Z9000 is 32x40GbE or 128x10GbE platform where multiple Z9000s are connected via an open distributed core supporting up to 24,000 10GbE server links. In addition, Force10 introduced a next generation ToR switch, the S7000 that supports 40x10GbE, 12×2/4/8G FC plus 4x40GbE combining networking, storage and Open Cloud Applications. Arpit Joshipura, Chief Marketing Officer at Force10 Networks, discusses Force10’s Open Cloud Networking products and strategy, and the new design options they afford to IT architects.

A Practical Guide: Rapid Automated Network Deployment

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By Force10 Networks

Bare Metal Provisioning (BMP) or jumpstarting is a function that allows for virtually hands-off provisioning of many devices. When you hear about BMP today, it is primarily in reference to the automated provisioning of server infrastructure. As demand increases for larger and larger networks to support server infrastructure growth, however, we must adapt this technology to the provisioning of network devices themselves to keep up. Force10’s BMP function automates switch configuration to significantly improve data center build productivity. In this guide, we will see how to use BMP to automate configuration of Force10 switches.

It’s Not Your Father’s Network

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By Ken Won, Director of Product Marketing at Force10 Networks

Server and storage environments have seen a lot of changes in the past ten years, while developments in networking have remained fairly static. Now, the demands of virtualization and network convergence are driving significant changes in the data center network. Networks have always been considered as plumbing that connect servers and storage, but new, dynamic switches are changing the network’s role in the overall data center. It’s not your father’s network anymore, and savvy data center managers need to understand and plan for the changes that are coming.

This white paper discusses new network technologies, explains what they are, and suggests how to plan for them in future data center architectures.

Network Automation with the Force10 Open Automation Framework

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By Force10 Networks

Deriving a return on virtualization investments means deploying effective automation techniques that can simplify the virtualized environment while allowing a policy-based deployment model. While many network vendors have chosen a proprietary path to automate network changes, Force10’s approach is to utilize open and industry standard technologies based on the extensible and modular Force10 Operating System (FTOS), across a range of the heterogeneous Force10 switch and routers portfolio.

Find out how to automate network changes in virtualized infrastructure by downloading this white paper

Force10 Networks S4810 Top-of-Rack Switch At The Lippis/Ixia iSimCity Evaluation

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Force10 Networks brings its first ever-public tested S4810 ToR switch to the Lippis/Ixia test at iSimCity were we test all 48 10GbE links for performance and power consumption. Nick Lippis interviews Ken Won Director of Product Marketing at Force10 Networks on data center switching and cloud network design with Force10’s ToR and core switches. Go here to download the Lippis/Ixia Test Report of the S4810 ToR Switch.

Making Networks More Agile With Force10’s Open Automation

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stephengNetworking has become “rigid”. Yes, I know it’s almost absurd to attribute inflexibility or rigidity to networking, but we are in a compute innovation cycle that’s driving a fundamental change in networking, which screams out the need for more flexibility and configuration automation. The well understood problem is that when a virtualized machine is moved from one physical machine to another, the network, load balancers, firewalls/IPS, broadcast domains, etc., have to be reconfigured. There is no automation in place, meaning that the network is not flexible or agile enough to make the changes required. Networking companies such as Force10 Networks are driving an open approach to automation to enable network changes. I spoke with Steve Garrison, Vice President Marketing for Force10 Networks about their “Open Automation” approach to networking. Enjoy, Nick

Force10 Is First To Offer 40 Giga bit Ethernet For The Data Center

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stephengWhile the networking industry is full steam ahead with the transition from 1 to 10 Gb Ethernet in corporate uplinks plus virtualized and cloud spec data centers, the IEEE has been working on 40 and 100Gb Ethernet standards to be ratified soon. It’s anticipated that the 40GbE standard will be completed first and built with lower cost, long-range optical components than 100GbE. The question on the minds of most IT business leaders is when and where to deploy these ultra high-speed Ethernet technologies and at what cost? We answer these questions with Steve Garrison, Vice President, Marketing of Force10 Networks. We’ll dive into Force10’s 40 GbE leadership position and the new network design options it unleashes upon IT business leaders.

Securing The Network Edge

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By Force10 Networks

Network security typically requires pulling together policies at Layer 2 and Layer 3 and at each topology layer to prevent malicious or inadvertent usage. The network boundary – where users enter the network – represents an effective security checkpoint to prevent a single end-point device from either hijacking network resources or impacting the ability of other users to access network services. End-point security traps the misbehaving end-point at its closest point and minimizes the number of network links which must carry any malicious traffic.
This paper details Force10 Networks approach to securing the network edge. Download it now.

Force10 Networks Dynamic Cloud Infrastructure

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By Force10 Networks

The data center has been, and continues to be, one of the key resources of innovation, helping businesses become more agile and efficient while reducing total cost of ownership (TCO) — as well as being the focal point for green IT initiatives. The first steps are widely underway, with data center consolidation bringing back the idea of the centralized glass room, enabling better control over fixed costs. Virtualization helps drive up utilization of existing server compute and storage assets, reducing sprawl, while also helping to reduce the power and cooling footprint. The next phase of data center evolution is aimed at helping applications dynamically adjust to load. Referred to as Services Oriented Architectures (SOA), it is now being mixed in with the likes of cloud computing and cloud networking. The tools are in place to usher in a new way of thinking about making the traditionally static networks ‘dynamic’, whereby the network itself responds automatically to requests for more, or indeed less bandwidth, provisioning network access, security and QoS, all without human intervention.
This paper explores the means by which existing data center assets can be repurposed to increase utilization and improved application agility. Download it now.

Network Design in the Post Crash 2008 World

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Zeus Kerravala and Steve Garrison, our podcast guestsThe market crash of 2008 has modified business behavior & processes permanently. When capex resumes it will not fund follow-on pre crash IT projects but IT projects that are top down driven by executive mandate to streamline operations. IT project winners are Collaboration, Video Conferencing, OPEX reduction, virtualization, security. mobility and cloud computing. Zeus Kerravala, SVP at Yankee and Steve Garrison, VP Marketing at Force10 Networks are my guest as we discuss data center network design in a virtualization post crash era. It’s a great discussion, enjoy.

Force10 Expands Its Data Center Networking Portfolio

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Steve Garrison, our podcast guestForce10 Networks has introduced ExaScaleTM E-Series family of switch/routers to meet the stringent performance, management and cost requirements of today’s virtualized data center and cloud computing environments. As enterprises transition toward virtualized data centers and adopts cloud-based services, the network is increasingly required to be more dynamic and responsive to changing resource demands. Steve Garrison, VP Marketing for Force10 Networks is my guest as we discuss the new design options for data center networking in a virtualization era.

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Posted in Enterprise Virtualization, Force10 Networks, Podcasts