Distributed Core Architecture Using the Z9000 Core Switching System

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July 11th, 2011

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.

Open Cloud Networking: Unlocking the Full Potential of Cloud Computing

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June 20th, 2011

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.

Lippis Report 173: Software Defined Networking The OpenFlow Way, Grabs Industry Attention

June 7th, 2011

In Lippis Report 172, I mentioned three huge trends that are starting to interact with each other creating a perfect storm that is gripping the tech industry. One of those trends is the creation of a software ecosystem in the networking market, thanks to the Clean Slate program out of Stanford University that has spawned the Software Defined Network (SDN) initiative and open controller protocol called OpenFlow. I spent a week in the Valley talking to people at Stanford and many industry executives from Cisco, Juniper, Marvell, Big Switch, Nicira, Arista, IBM and others. In this Lippis Report Research Note, I share with you what I learned. OpenFlow-based SDN is being both hyped and in its current state, limited, but it does represent a new paradigm that has the industry abuzz, filled with possibilities.

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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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High-Performance iSCSI SAN Architecture—A Solution’s View from Extreme Networks, Intel and NetApp

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May 24th, 2011

By Extreme Networks

This white paper is targeted to enterprise and service provider IT managers who may be evaluating the ability of iSCSI SANs to satisfy the performance requirements of their most demanding storage applications. Storage application performance is dependent on more than just the performance of the storage array. The full data path and the integration with the other layers of the data center architecture must be taken into consideration. Optimizing the full data path from the server, through the network to the storage can contribute to significant improvements in performance and service levels.

This white paper and the accompanying configuration guide details the work of Intel, Extreme Networks® and NetApp to demonstrate the impact on iSCSI performance in real-world environments, using Extreme Networks CLEAR-Flow technology to help you achieve optimal iSCSI performance.

The output of the collaborative testing is presented in two separate documents:

• White Paper: provides an overview of the latest advancements around iSCSI SAN capabilities and performance, including real world, end-to-end performance results with CLEAR-Flow.

• Configuration Guide: provides a sample reference architecture with step-by-step configuration details for all the components and describes the end-to-end solution performance across a number of configurations.

Securing the Data-Center Transformation Aligning Security and Data-Center Dynamics

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May 24th, 2011

By Ted Ritter Senior Research Analyst, Nemertes Research

The data center is undergoing tectonic shifts with virtualization the primary cause. Everything is moving faster within the data center—moving at the speed of virtualization—putting centers into a state of transition from physical to virtual, which can be long, complex and messy. At the same time, security models remain largely static, anchored by physical security devices. Not only does this put the organization at greater risk, it also puts in jeopardy the core benefits of virtualization. To address this, organizations need a security architecture delivering agile security and supporting the physical infrastructure, the virtual infrastructure, and all the transitional states in between the two. This requires a new security model seamlessly integrating existing security controls for physical infrastructure with comparable security controls for the virtual infrastructure. This new model requires virtualization security.

OpenFlow: The Next Generation in Networking Interoperability

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May 24th, 2011

By IBM

Data centers host the computational power, storage, networking and applications that form the basis of any modern company. To reduce costs and increase the efficiency of this business-critical resource, IT organizations commonly implement new technologies and make fundamental architectural changes.

OpenFlow is an emerging technology with the potential to increase the value of data center services dramatically. Implementing OpenFlow can provide network administrators with greater control over their resources, integrated network and server management, and an open management interface for routers and switches.

A Practical Guide: Rapid Automated Network Deployment

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April 25th, 2011

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.

WAN Virtualization – Transforming the Enterprise WAN

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April 11th, 2011

By Talari Networks

Cloud Computing is making service centralization easier and much more cost effective in the Enterprise. This results in growing demand for scalable, reliable and inexpensive WAN access to deliver new WAN-based services. However the cost of private WAN services like MPLS remain stubbornly high and continued telecom service provider investment in Internet-based wired and wireless (4G) consumer-targeted WANs is delivering as much as a 100x price performance benefit for Internet-based connectivity. In addition, co-location facilities are becoming the lowest cost place to locate server/services and provide diverse low cost bandwidth. WAN virtualization allows IT business leaders to use these higher bandwidth but lower cost WAN services in their enterprise reliably.

Enabling the Enterprise Network for Cloud Computing: Reducing Cost and Complexity, Enabling the Agile Enterprise

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April 11th, 2011

By Gartner

This document evaluates the potential benefits and drawbacks of converging data center networks and debunks a myth about lower costs and complexity. It includes quantitative analysis, along with insights gained from discussions with Gartner clients about organizational issues that affect convergence decisions.

The Critical Role of the Network in Supporting Cloud-Based Solutions

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April 11th, 2011

Written by Jim Metzler for Cisco Systems

The movement on the part of enterprises to adopt a Cloud-based service model combined with the growing interest on the part of IT organizations to provide an internal SLA (Service Level Agreement) for the services they provide creates tremendous opportunities for Communications Service Providers or CSPs. The primary opportunity is for CSPs to offer a wide range of network centric solutions that are supported by an SLA. CSPs are in a unique position to offer these solutions because, unlike the Internet, the Next Generation Networks (NGNs) that CSPs have deployed are capable of providing contracted levels of availability, delay, jitter and packet loss. This paper provides three recommendations for CSPs to capture Cloud-based service revenues.

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.

Data Center Network Virtualization—the Final Frontier

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January 17th, 2011

By BLADE Network Technologies, an IBM Company

Server virtualization brings both benefits and drawbacks to the data center: it can maximize underutilized resources and minimize infrastructure spending—but add complexity and administrative overhead for the network administrator. BLADE Network Technologies’ VMready™ software addresses this problem by automatically migrating network policies along with virtual machines as they migrate across different physical servers.

Find out how by downloading this white paper

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.