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Round 1: The Data Center Switching Challenge

2011 Data Center Switching Challenge: Which Data Center Switching fabric solution is a fit for you?

The Data Center network is going through a major transformation. The need to support server virtualization; storage and the increase in east-west traffic – application-to-application and application-to-storage traffic – are placing new demands on the data center networking infrastructure. The question is which Data Center switching vendor's solution and equipment should you select to build the new data center fabric given that the offerings often sound fairly similar? The 2011 Data Center Switching Challenge document boils down six leading vendors' value propositions into a handy guide in which Alcatel-Lucent, Arista, Avaya, Brocade, IBM, and Juniper each explain specifically where they excel.

Download my challenge to the industry and see how the vendors responded.

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Network World Data Center Switching Challenge Series presented by Robin Layland

Round 2: Discussions

Data Center Fabric

“Fabric” is the most commonly used word to describe vendors’ data center switching solutions. Robin Layland leads discussions with Vikram Mehta from IBM System Networking and Calvin Chai from Juniper Networks on the meaning of this term. The discussions also explain the problems data center fabrics address, the attributes that make a data center switching solution into a fabric and where to start building the data center fabric.

Discussion with Vikram Mehta from IBM System Networking

Discussion with Calvin Chai from Juniper Networks

Multi-Path Ethernet

Cliff Grossner from Alcatel-Lucent and Gurpreet Singh from Brocade join Robin in a panel discussion on Multi-Path Ethernet. Multi-Path Ethernet is a key component in a data center fabric solution. The panel reviews the problems with current data center architecture and how Multi-Path Ethernet solves them. TRILL and SPB for “flattening” data center networks are explained and the advantages, and problems with each are discussed.

Supporting Server Virtualization

Dan DeBacker of Avaya and Robin discuss how to support server virtualization. The issues of managing, troubleshooting and provisioning the data center network amid server virtualization are explored along with the impact server virtualization will have on data center network architecture.

Latency Requirement in the Data Center

Doug Gourlay of Arista Networks and Robin discuss latency requirements in the data center, reviewing which applications need latency in the nanosecond or microsecond range. The discussion explores the issues involved in designing a low-latency data center network and how to actually build one.

Podcast Transcripts

Latency Requirement in the Data Center

Doug Gourlay of Arista Networks and Robin discuss latency requirements in the data center, reviewing which applications need latency in the nanosecond or microsecond range. The discussion explores the issues involved in designing a low-latency data center network and how to actually build one.

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Supporting Server Virtualization Trans

Dan DeBacker of Avaya and Robin discuss how to support server virtualization. The issues of managing, troubleshooting and provisioning the data center network amid server virtualization are explored along with the impact server virtualization will have on data center network architecture.

Download this white paper now

Data Center Fabric- Juniper

“Fabric” is the most commonly used word to describe vendors’ data center switching solutions. Robin Layland leads discussions with Vikram Mehta from IBM System Networking and Calvin Chai from Juniper Networks on the meaning of this term. The discussions also explain the problems data center fabrics address, the attributes that make a data center switching solution into a fabric and where to start building the data center fabric.

Download this white paper now

Multi-Path Ethernet Trans

Cliff Grossner from Alcatel-Lucent and Gurpreet Singh from Brocade join Robin in a panel discussion on Multi-Path Ethernet. Multi-Path Ethernet is a key component in a data center fabric solution. The panel reviews the problems with current data center architecture and how Multi-Path Ethernet solves them. TRILL and SPB for “flattening” data center networks are explained and the advantages, and problems with each are discussed.

Download this white paper now

Data Center Fabric - IBM Transcript

“Fabric” is the most commonly used word to describe vendors’ data center switching solutions. Robin Layland leads discussions with Vikram Mehta from IBM System Networking and Calvin Chai from Juniper Networks on the meaning of this term. The discussions also explain the problems data center fabrics address, the attributes that make a data center switching solution into a fabric and where to start building the data center fabric.

Download this white paper now

The Application Fluent Network: Delivering a High-Quality User Experience

With tangible benefits such as a high-quality user experience, reduced demands on IT staff, and a faster time to ROI, the application fluent network represents market leading innovation in network design and operation. This paper will show how your organization can respond effectively to a shifting IT climate to create a competitive advantage while minimizing cost.

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Cloud Networking: A Network Approach that Meets the Requirements of Cloud Computing

The advent of cloud computing changes the approach to data center networks in terms of throughput and resilience. The ability to scale, control, visualize and customize the cloud network is an important evolution to a “data center-in-the-box” approach.

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Fit For Purpose Data Center Networking

The data center of the future cannot be built on the technology of the past. General-purpose products, outmoded techniques, and legacy designs cannot be re-packaged as ‘data center-ready’. Ethernet is readily available, cost-effective, extensible, and – as the 40/100 Gigabit developments prove – scalable, however many existing deployment methodologies are no longer an option. Avaya is uniquely positioned based on decades of networking experience, and technologies like the Avaya Virtual Enterprise Network Architecture, a truly fit-for-purpose solution for the data center and enterprise campus; can deliver simplified yet optimized end-to-end connectivity between users and their content.

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What Is an Ethernet Fabric?

Discover the advantages behind Ethernet fabrics. Learn how this technology provides higher levels of performance, utilization, availability and simplicity compared to classical Ethernet architectures. Examine the characteristics and keys behind these flat, intelligent, scalable and efficient yet simple architectures.

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A Low-Latency Solution for High- Frequency Trading from IBM and Mellanox

IBM® and Mellanox® have demonstrated a solution that performs at high throughput rates and low latency to facilitate High- Frequency Trading solutions. This solution uses the IBM BNT RackSwitch 8264 10/40Gb Ethernet Switch, coupled with IBM's WebSphere® MQ Low Latency Messaging (WMQLLM) software using the Mellanox ConnectX®-2 10 Gigabit Ethernet adapter with RoCE (RDMA over Converged Ethernet) drivers. This solution delivers a powerful combination of networking hardware and messaging software that meets the latency and throughput requirements of high-frequency trading environments.

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The Juniper Networks Fabric Architecture : A Revolution in Data Center Network Design Flattening the Data Center Architecture

Juniper Networks® groundbreaking Quantum Fabric (QFabric) architecture delivers a revolutionary data center design that takes a quantum leap in network, performance, management, processing power and energy efficiency. It fundamentally simplifies the data center network by collapsing tiers, reducing the number of devices, and simplifying business operations with a single OS across all platforms - creating a single tier network that operates like a single Ethernet switch.

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