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 154: Is Networking Too Rigid?

August 10th, 2010

nicklippis.jpgNetworking has become “rigid”. Yes I know it’s almost absurd to attribute inflexibility or rigidity to networking. Look what TCP/IP has done for us. There are nearly 2 billion people connected to the internet and according to the Internet World Stats internet user growth rate increased by 380% between 2000-2009. With 2 billion people and growing online, accessing a plethora of applications via a wide range of end-points there is no doubt that the internet and TCP/IP has been a much bigger success than anyone would have imagined back in the early ’90s. But there’s always a give and take between computing and networking where one drives and changes the other. Right now we are in a compute innovation cycle that’s driving a fundamental change in networking which screams out the need for more flexibility.

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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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