Lippis Report 172: A Perfect Storm Clears a Path for IBM to Re-Enter the Network Market

May 24th, 2011

Three strong trends are taking shape that are so powerful they threaten the status quo of the networking industry. These trends are more like storms than new markets; in fact they represent a major industry discontinuity. The first storm is happening now and is represented by merchant silicon for 10 and 40 GbE chips lowering the barrier of entry for new entrants in the Ethernet switch market. The second storm is much weaker but promises to be just as big, or bigger, than the first. This second storm is the creation of a software ecosystem in the networking industry, thanks to initiatives such as Software Defined Networks (SDN), OpenFlow, Arista Network’s EOS Central, etc. The third storm is the paradigm shift in enterprise IT spending thanks to mobile and cloud computing. These three storms are starting to interact and feed upon each other, forming a perfect storm in the networking industry. The perfect storm is already doing damage, as all major IT firms position product portfolios to navigate through it and prepare for its aftermath of making existing networking legacy.

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Cloud Ready Network Architecture

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April 11th, 2011

By BLADE Network Technologies, an IBM Company

Private clouds describe an architecture in which servers and networks in the data center can rapidly respond to changing demands, by quickly scaling compute capacity and connecting that server capacity where it is needed. The technology underlying this fluidity is server virtualization, which by now has been established as a reliable and essential core technology for most data centers. Five critical networking technologies are needed to build a private cloud network:

• Up to 1.28Tbps of line-rate, loss-less bandwidth
• Single-wire networks for data and storage with DCB support
• Support for thousands of virtual ports
• Virtual machine awareness
• Extremely low power requirements

This white paper details a cloud network architecture that incorporates these five success factors.

BLADE Network Technologies, an IBM Company, IBM BNT RackSwitch G8124 & G8264 Test Results

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January 31st, 2011

by Lippis Report Testing

This report details the test results of the IBM BNT RackSwitch G8124 & G8264 enterprise Top-of-Rack (ToR) Ethernet switches. All 24 and 64 10GbE ports of the IBM BNT RackSwitch G8124 & G8264, respectively, are populated and tested for performance, throughput, latency and power consumption. The IBM BNT RackSwitch G8124 & G8264’s test results are then compared against Force10 Networks S4810, Voltaire Vantage™ 6048 and Apresia 15K ToR switches.

To download the test report please CLICK HERE

Virtual Machine-Aware Networking

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November 1st, 2010

By BLADE Network Technologies

To exploit the benefits of server virtualization, data centers need to enable the dynamic and automatic movement of Virtual Machines while protecting their security and maintaining accessibility. Data center network plays a large role in delivering these and other important services for virtualized environments. Current networking switches are not aware of Virtual Machines, and this creates security and availability issues for both server and network administrators as they try to fully exploit the value of virtualization and manage this new environment.

Find out how to build a VM-aware network by downloading this white paper.

Lippis Report 149: High End 10GbE Data Center Switches Reviewed

May 31st, 2010

In Lippis Report 148 we reviewed the major drivers and trends that are propelling the high-end data center Ethernet switch market to well over a $1B annual run rate. In this Lippis Report Research Note, we review the major suppliers of these switches. We review Cisco, Arista Networks Force10 Networks, BLADE Network Technologies, HP/3Com/H3C, Voltaire, Avaya, Brocade, and Juniper and identify their unique positions and offerings to participants in the burgeoning market. Our focus is the high-end, high density 10GbE switches that are enabling virtualized cloud computing data centers thanks to Terabits per second of back plane switching capacity, billions of packets per second of layer 2/3 forwarding, hundreds of 10GbE port connectivity per chassis, a new two-tier architecture, microsecond level latency, low power consumption, non-stop operation and software hooks that eliminate network barriers to large scale server virtualization. The engineering in these switches should be celebrated, as they represent the state-of-the-art in computer and network design. In short, they represent the fundamental building block of a new generation of IT delivery based upon cloud computing and virtualization. This Research Note is a must read for any IT executive designing a data center.

After finishing this Research Note, it became evident that this market needs a set of industry neural 10GbE switch test to independently verify vendor claims. We hope to make such a contribution this Fall.
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Lippis Report 148: What’s Driving The Multi Billion Dollar Data Center Ethernet Market

May 17th, 2010

nicklippis.jpgDuring last week’s Cisco Q3 FY10 quarterly financial conference call, John Chambers, Cisco’s CEO, said something that impressed and shocked me. The company has been quiet about the growth rates for its Nexus line of data center switches until this call. What shocked me was that the Nexus 7000 is now on an annualized run rate of $1B, yes that’s Billion with a B! I remember being interviewed by John Markoff of the NY Times in Jan ’08 about the Cisco’s Nexus and Juniper’s yet to be announced Ethernet switches. In just 27 short months, the Nexus product line including the 7000, 5000 and 2000 represents a $1.4 B run rate of revenue to Cisco. Another insight gained from this ramp up is that the data center networking trends that we’ve discussed here in various Lippis Report Research Notes are powerful demand drivers for Cisco and other companies participating in this lucrative emerging market and its just starting! Companies such as Arista Networks, Force10 Networks, Blade Network Technologies, HP/3Com/H3C, Voltaire, Avaya, Brocade, Juniper, et al, have unique positions and offerings to participants in the burgeoning market. In this Lippis Report Research Note, we review the mega trends driving high market growth. We save a product review of each of the suppliers for our next Lippis Report Research Note.

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