Extreme Networks Addresses Scale Issues with its Open Fabric Software-Defined Networking

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January 14th, 2013

No matter where an IT architect looks they are confronted with scaling issues and many times one solution creates another problem.  To address increasing VM density many are expanding broadcast domains with flatter 2-tier architectures only to get bogged down in broadcast issues.  To scale virtualized networks the industry offers VXLAN, but that moves L2 scaling into a multicast-scaling problem.  Software-Defined Network and in particular OpenFlow offers a good approach for provisioning and control but introduces flow oriented architecture scaling issues of its own.  I discuss scaling challenge with Shehzad Merchant Chief Technology Officer at Extreme Networks.

Duration: 10:24 minutes

Lippis Intro/Analysis @ : 00:10 sec

Question 1

@ 1:35 sec: Shehzad: Let’s first start with Extreme’s view of 40 and 100GbE.  How is Extreme incorporating it and why?

Question 2 @ 3:50 sec: Forwarding table architecture and size define logical networking scale.  Extreme recently introduced UFT or Unified Forwarding Table.  What is it and how does it work?

Question 3 @ 6:35 sec: Extreme has partnered with Big Switch Networks to address network visualization scale via its Big Tap and Big Virtual Switch.  Can you talk to this solution?

Question 4 @ 8:51 sec: Can you sum up all the initiatives that Extreme has under way to deliver on its Open Fabric architecture for clo

ud-scale networking?

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40 Gb and 100 Gb Ethernet

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November 7th, 2011

Just as 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) is going through widespread
deployment in the data center, the discussion has now shifted to even
higher speed interconnects—namely 40 GbE and 100 GbE
By IBM

In July 2006, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Higher Speed Study Group was formed to look into the next evolutionary step after 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE). In the past, Ethernet speeds would increase by a factor of 10. However, the next generation jump from 10 GbE to 100 GbE has proven to be a technological challenge. Some within the IEEE group felt that 100 GbE made sense for communication service providers and other backbone network providers, but not as a next step for servers—it was simply more speed and expense than would be needed for the near future. While the IEEE initially planned to standardize only on 100 GbE as the next step after 10 GbE, server vendors initiated a push in early 2007 to include 40 GbE in the standard, with the rationale that the effort used to develop 40 GbE would be used for the development of 100 GbE.

In July 2007, the IEEE 802.3ba study group was named, and it is the first standard to include two different Ethernet speeds—the 40 Gbps rate for local server applications, and the 100 Gbps rate for internet backbone—to serve both market needs. In June 2010, the official 802.3ba standard was ratified, opening the field to higher performance in server systems and components, data centers, network storage and systems, high-performance computing (HPC) clusters, data centers, carriers, and the like. This paper provides perspective on the placement and use of 40 and 100GbE.

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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Lippis Report 153: Why Ethernet will be the dominant Two Tier High End Data Center Network Fabric

July 27th, 2010

nicklippis.jpgIn Lippis Report 151: A Two or Three Tier High-End Data Center Ethernet Fabric Architecture? we detailed the new two tier data center Ethernet fabric that is becoming conventional wisdom amongst business leaders of high end data centers and cloud computing service providers. The networking industry is headed for a major innovation and competitive cycle fueled by a multi-billion dollar addressable market for data center network fabrics. Over the last eighteen months, every major Ethernet infrastructure provider has announced or taken a position on two tier network fabrics for high-end data centers. Companies such as Cisco, Arista Networks, Force10, Voltaire, HP/3Com, Juniper, Extreme, Brocade, BLADE Network Technology, et al have announced network fabrics for data centers with two thousand and more servers that either support storage enablement or not. In this Lippis Report Research Note, we review why it is Ethernet that will be the network fabric of high performance computing or HPC and cloud computing deployments.

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Lippis Report 151: A Two or Three Tier High-End Data Center Ethernet Fabric Architecture?

June 30th, 2010

nicklippis.jpgIt hasn’t been since the mid 1990s that the networking industry was focused on multi-protocol integration or convergence. 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. Cisco just 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 and three tier network fabrics and review FSS and its accompanying F-Series 10GbE module.

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Ethernet: the Best Choice for Low Latency

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May 3rd, 2010

By Arista Networks

Can Ethernet compete with Infiniband in the low-latency trading and high performance computing markets? Administrators and IT professionals face a choice when deciding whether to invest in Infiniband or Ethernet for their low-latency networks. This paper addresses many of the characteristics of Infiniband that have made their way into Ethernet.

To learn more, download the Arista Networks whitepaper.

Arista Networks Addresses A New Era In Cloud Networking

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May 3rd, 2010

dougOur industry is in a compute innovation cycle thanks to virtualization and cloud computing and it’s changing fundamental networking requirements and design. These changes are beyond increased packet processing performance and ultra low latency. They extend to network design and product features that enable increased server virtualization scale, workload mobility and cloud computing. I discuss a new model for networking born out of data center virtualization and cloud computing with Doug Gourlay, Vice President Marketing at Arista Networks. This is Arista Networks’ first podcast; sure to be a classic.

Enjoy, Nick

Scaling-out Ethernet for the Data Center: Applying the scalability, efficiency, and fabric virtualization capabilities of InfiniBand to Converged Enhanced Ethernet (CEE)

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April 19th, 2010

By Voltaire

This paper describes the challenges inherent in existing Ethernet solutions and how Voltaire’s new scale-out Ethernet architecture effectively addresses those challenges. Voltaire’s InfiniBand products and fabric management solutions have been addressing Data center architecture changes for years. Today, Voltaire delivers the fabric for the world’s largest supercomputers, the world’s fastest financial trading platforms, and the world’s most scalable database machines. Soon, Voltaire will extend its product offering to include Converged Enhanced Ethernet CEE switches and software, allowing end users with less demanding performance requirements to benefit from a far more scalable Ethernet fabric that also lowers overall fabric costs, lowers power consumption, has greater efficiencies, and simplifies management.

Find out how by downloading this white paper.

Switching Architectures for Cloud Network Designs

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April 19th, 2010

Networks today require predictable performance and are much more aware of application flows than traditional networks with static addressing of devices. Enterprise networks in the past were designed for specific applications while new cloud designs in the data center can address a multitude of applications. This is clearly a radical departure from today’s oversubscribed networks in which delays and high transit latency are inherent.

To learn more, download the Arista Networks whitepaper.

Arista Launches Greenest, Fastest and Highest 10GbE Density Data Center Switch under the Milky Way

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April 19th, 2010

doug_anshalArista’s new 7500 Series of Ethernet switches is touted as the fastest Ethernet switch on the planet. Arista Networks has been delivering ultra high performance fixed 1/10 Gb Ethernet switches for high performance computing and cloud computing data centers. But this week Arista shocked the industry by introducing a massively powerful Ethernet switch platform that is 10 GbE port dense, compact, cloud spec fast, amazingly green plus smart and prepared for 40 and 100GbE with a price tag 50% below competitive offerings. I talk with Douglas Gourlay, Vice President Marketing and Anshul Sadana Vice President, Customer & Systems Engineering both from Arista Networks about a new age of network design in the cloud-computing era.

Enabling Collaboration with Cisco Catalyst 4500 PoE Plus

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April 13th, 2010

saguptaPower over Ethernet (PoE) powers IT endpoints like IP phones and WLAN Access points. But newer devices like IP video phones, IP surveillance cameras, thin client display, next Generation IP phones, 802.11n WLAN access points and Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) Surveillance cameras require more than 15W of power so the IEEE recently standardized a new 30W PoE standard called PoE Plus. Soon most, if not all, corporations will have a mix of end points that require old PoE and new PoE plus power. IT leaders can meet these requirements by leveraging the enhanced PoE and PoE Plus features offered by Cisco’s Catalyst 4500 E-Series product line. Moreover Cisco has announced two new Catalyst 4500 Series Line Cards with readiness for PoE Plus and inline power up to 30W per port. I talk with Sachin Gupta, Director and Product Manager at Cisco Systems about these new PoE design features and what new options are available to IT architects as they build out corporate collaborative solutions.

Scaling Data Center Networks

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April 5th, 2010

By Arista Networks

What is Arista’s definition of scalability of a data center network? What are the critical requirements and what issues must be solved to address data center scalability? Scalability of the data center network is the ability for network technologies to accept increased traffic or new devices without impacting the contribution margin. In this white paper Arista Networks discuses network design best practices for scaling up Data Center Networks.

Find out how by downloading this paper.