Fall 2011 Open Industry Network Performance And Power Test Report

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December 5th, 2011

The IT Industry’s Third Open Network Performance and Power Consumption Test
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What We Have Learned From Eighteen Months of Testing

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December 1st, 2011

The Lippis Report has conducted three open industry test of 10 and 40GbE data center fabric switches at Ixia’s iSimCity. Michael Githens of Ixia interviews Nick Lippis of the Lippis Report to look back on what we have learned after testing eleven products from nine vendors including Alcatel-Lucent, Arista Networks, Brocade, Dell/Force10, Extreme Networks, Hitachi Data Systems, IBM, Juniper Networks and Mellanox/Voltaire. We then look forward as to what the industry will be serving up in 2012 for data center fabrics.

Download “Fall 2011 Open Industry Network Performance And Power Test Report” here.

TRILL in the Data Center: Look Before You Leap

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July 11th, 2011

In the quest to build a data center network that is flat, fast and fault tolerant, the networking industry has served up a new two-tier architecture made up of Top-of-Rack or ToR server connecting switches and highly dense Core switches. Core switches connect ToR devices. The key question is how best to provide switch connectivity to deliver a lossless, high performance, low latency fabric that supports virtualization mobility. The answer is found in Multi-Chassis Link Aggregation Group or MC-LAG, Transparent Interconnection of Lots of Links or TRILL and/or Shortest Path Bridging (SPB). Dhritiman Dasgupta, Director of Product Marketing for Fabric and Switching Technologies at Juniper Networks, discusses its QFabric approach and why TRILL’s hair pinning method to inter-VLAN routing is a poor approach. It’s a fascinating discussion that you have to listen to. You can also download a white paper on this topic here.

Open Industry Network Performance And Power Test

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January 23rd, 2011

The IT Industry’s Second Open Network Performance and Power Draw Test
Private/Public Data Center Cloud Computing Ethernet Fabrics
Evaluating 10 GbE Switches

A cross vendor comparative test report conducted at Ixia’s iSmiCity defined by The Lippis Report. This report provides detailed test information on the following new products that have not been previously tested in public. The report details test results of the following products:

Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitch 10K,
Arista 7504 Series Data Center Switch,
Arista 7124SX 10G SFP Data Center Switch,
Arista 7050S-64 10/40G Data Center Switch,
Brocade VDXTM 6720-24 Data Center Switch,
IBM BNT RackSwitch G8124,
IBM BNT RackSwitch G8264,
Force10 S-Series S4810,
Hitachi Cable, Apresia15000-64XL-PSR,
Juniper Network EX Series EX8216 Ethernet Switch,
Voltaire® VantageTM 6048.

This 93-page report is a must for those evaluating 10/40 GbE data center switching equipment for private or public cloud infrastructure. You don’t want to buy data center switching gear until you read this report.

To download the report click here.

Lippis Report 157: The Problem with Application Delivery Appliances

September 22nd, 2010

Major IT Delivery Transitions IT Business Leaders Are Managing
Application owners and developers have been deploying and writing applications as if networks had no boundaries or were borderless. By “application owners” I mean IT departments chartered with IT application delivery and management. By “application developers” I mean in-house corporate software developers, independent software vendors (or ISVs) and software companies. There has always been a disconnect between applications and network architects where developers write applications to run over a network as long as there is connectivity. In addition, service-oriented architecture (SOA) based applications call for greater application componentization, which increases messaging between application components, resulting in the network having a direct impact on application performance. In essence, application owners, developers and application standard bodies assume that networks are borderless as the industry is organized around the OSI model where knowledge and skills at one layer, e.g., the network is not necessarily taken into account at another layer, i.e., the application. Therefore, the normal state of affairs is that network designers have been tasked to optimize applications to improve user experience especially when the application was not written to run over a particular kind of network. This status quo does not scale and needs to be re-thought.

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Lippis Report 156: Why We Are Entering The Age of Borderless Networking

September 9th, 2010

nicklippis.jpgNetworking is entering a new phase or era. During the 1990s, new networking markets opened up, creating multi-billion dollar opportunities for the vendor community and corporate cost savings for IT business leaders. First, it was shared LANs and routing, then switched LANs, then Frame Relay to speed up WANs, then SNA over IP, then remote access via dial-up and VPN, then MPLS, then IP telephony, then Wireless LANs etc… and now, it’s video and cloud networking. You get the picture. But what we didn’t realize as we build these networks is that they are silos with disparate management systems and unique access methods resulting in operational cost overlap and, most importantly, user frustration as they transition application use from desktop, to mobile end point, to remote endpoint. In short, we built boundaries around applications in the form of networks and it is the dismantling of these borders that vendors are now starting to deliver and differentiate upon. It’s not just Cisco that communicates borderless networks, but HP Networking, Juniper, Brocade, Extreme, Avaya, Force10 and others too. Why is the industry entering a new age of borderless networking and what’s in it for IT business leaders, is explained in this Lippis Report Research Note.
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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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