April 15, 2013
Dell Networking Delivers New SDN-Enabled Fabric Solutions, Innovative Convergence Platform to Help Accelerate Data Center Transformation
ROUND ROCK, Texas, April 15 — Dell today announced new additions to its networking portfolio to help customers accelerate transitions to high-performance converged, virtualized and private cloud environments. These include Dell’s new Active Fabric solutions for SDN-enabled designs along with next-generation management software – Dell Active Fabric Manager – and the Dell Networking S5000 modular LAN/SAN switching platform.
Dell Networking: Accelerating Data Center Transformation
Several factors in today’s data centers have operators considering new and different network architectures beyond the traditional three-tier, monolithic systems of the past. Factors include: Virtualization and new workloads changing the network traffic patterns and demands; Software-defined networking (SDN) and the promise of network programmability; convergence of formerly distinct technology silos; and input/output consolidation with migration to 10GbE server platforms. These dynamics present CIOs not just architectural challenges but also budgetary and operational considerations.
Industry analysts at Gartner cite these transformative aspects in its inaugural Magic Quadrant for Data Center Network Infrastructure. “The data center network market has been transformed with new architectures, new technologies and vendors specifically targeting solutions to address the changing size and density of the data center, shifts in traffic patterns, and the increasing requirement to simplify network operations.”
Dell Active Fabric – New Data Centers Need New Network Architectures
Dell Active Fabric describes its approach to providing customers a modern network architecture that takes advantage of today’s technology and provides an easily-scalable path for future growth.
Dell Active Fabric provides a flat, fast, any-to-any multipath network architecture that is flexible and ideally suited for the growing amount of East-West traffic in today’s virtualized data centers and private clouds. Active Fabric solutions flatten the traditional data center network architecture using high-density and low-latency, fixed-form factor 10/40GbE switches that can be deployed quickly and easily while reaching to hyperscale proportions.
According to Gartner’s Rightsizing the Enterprise Data Center Network report, “Newer small form factor core devices can enable network managers to reduce capital costs by 30 percent to 70 percent, and save 30 percent or more on operations expenses, compared with chassis-based switches.”
In line with this, compared to traditional chassis-based network designs, Dell Active Fabric solutions provide up to 59 percent cost savings and consume up to 77 percent less power.
SDN is a logical extension to the enhanced network flexibility Dell Active Fabric solutions provide. The software abstraction layer that SDN delivers is designed to enable open programmability, making infrastructure flexible and adaptable to different customer environments. Additionally, Dell is one of the only vendors to offer a complete and unbiased approach to SDN encompassing networking virtualization overlays (NVO), OpenFlow and legacy interface capabilities.
Defining features of Dell Active Fabric include:
Dell Active Fabric Manager – Industry-Leading Fabric Automation Software
The Dell Active Fabric Manager is an industry-innovating software tool that automates the tasks associated with planning, designing, building and monitoring fabrics. Dell Active Fabric Manager can reduce deployment time up to 86 percent compared to a completely manual process.4
Dell Active Fabric Manager features include:
Dell Networking S5000 – Slim, Modular Unified Storage Switch
The Dell Networking S5000 is Dell’s first 1U 10/40GbE top-of-rack LAN/SAN switch equipped with native FC and FCoE capabilities. The S5000’s innovative system design is powered by an industry-hardened, and feature-rich operating system for maximum dependability and uptime. Dell Open Automation framework provides integrated automation, scripting and programmable management for enhanced network flexibility in virtualized environments.
Key features include:
‘We’re challenging conventional wisdom with new products and solutions designed to accelerate our customers’ migration to virtualized and cloud data center environments.” said Tom Burns, vice president and general manager, Dell Networking. “We’re excited about these new offerings and their ability to simplify operations, boost performance and improve economics.”
“Because we have a flexible and efficient network configuration that is automated, this allows an up to 50 percent decrease in maintenance and network troubleshooting,” said Qu Jing, project implementation manager, YunYun.com. “The Active Fabric architecture effectively eliminates network bottlenecks to achieve one-to-one instant network convergence.”
“Dell Active Fabric networking technology is leading edge, providing 40G connectivity to our storage fabric, and 10G switching for east/west traffic,” said Kevin Dunn, vice president for Business Information Services – Infrastructure and Operations at First Command Financial Services. “It gives us the ability to move workloads across our Dell infrastructure quickly and easily, maximizing our hardware utilization and increasing the value of our investments.”
“Dell’s Active Fabric Manager is a valuable asset for MCA in all stages of our customer engagement,” said James Bender, Director of Technical Services at channel partner Mike Collins Associates. “I am extremely impressed with the intuitive workflows for designing, deploying and monitoring in a single management pane, and greatly simplifying the sales process.”
“Being a university, we’re evaluating the S5000 because we have diverse range of storage systems and appreciate the protocol flexibility,” said Yaohui Jin, Prof., Deputy Director, Network & Information Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University ON. “This platform will allow us to standardize on a single networking infrastructure instead of having to buy and deploy different switches for each. We expect this will help us simplify our operations as well as reduce our capital expenditures.”
“We’re interested in the S5000 as its first switch we’ve seen with these capabilities in a 1U top-of-the-rack form factor. This is very important for our Datacenter network configuration,” said Maurizio Davini, CTO, IT Center, University of Pisa Italy. “We also like the modular aspect so we can scale as we need, while saving CapEx and OpEx in the meantime.”
“Networking professionals need solutions that solve real business problems today, and SDN, while very promising, is still very nascent,” said Bob Laliberte, Senior Analyst of IT Infrastructure and Networking at Enterprise Strategy Group. “Dell Networking is expanding its product line to introduce offerings into the market that tackle today’s immediate needs while enabling organizations to take advantage of future developments.”
Dell 10G and 40G Active Fabric solutions are available worldwide now from Dell and its global PartnerDirect channel partners. Active Fabric Manager v1.5 will be available globally in late May 2013. Dell Networking S5000 will be available globally in July 2013.
Dell at Interop
Visit Dell at Interop Las Vegas 2013 (booth 1127) to see Active Fabric, Active Fabric Manager, Dell Networking along with the rest of the Dell Enterprise Solutions portfolio.
Dell Inc. listens to customers and delivers innovative technology and services that give them the power to do more.
About Dell Networking
Dell Networking plays an integral role in how the company delivers innovative end-to-end IT solutions including servers, storage and converged infrastructures. Dell Networking is a pioneer in delivering next-generation networking architectures as well as blade switching and virtualized input/output (I/O) to provide the scale, performance and economics demanded by today’s enterprise, Web 2.0 and cloud data centers.
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