Dell EMC, a pioneer in Open Networking, introduces its latest Z-series 100GbE fabric switch, the Z9264F-ON, doubling its capacity and delivering a complete set of open solutions for modern enterprise and service provider data centres.
The new platform, powered by Broadcom’s 6.4 Terabit/second Ethernet switching silicon, StrataXGS® Tomahawk® II, is purpose-built for high-performance data centre spine or fabric applications, providing ultra-fast network connectivity between data centre racks.
Delivering 64 ports of 100GbE in a compact 2RU form factor, the new Z9264F-ON is ideal for customers seeking to retire large and costly legacy chassis switching systems while also accelerating transitions from 40GbE to 100GbE.
“Our enterprise and service provider customers have been unequivocal in their desire for innovative and Open Networking solutions for their data centre infrastructure,” said Tom Burns, senior vice president and general manager, Dell EMC Networking and Solutions.
“The new Z9264F-ON delivers on that desire, providing our customers with the most capable 100GbE switching platform in the industry and granting our customers maximum control over their network spend and their infrastructure.”
Data centres continue to serve as the foundation for IT operations and service delivery. Investments in these facilities, whether on premise, hosted, or available as cloud facilities are on the rise.
In all environments, the network is critical for providing connectivity within and between data centre racks, between data centres themselves, out to the edge and ultimately to end-users.
Coupled with this, the adoption of virtualisation and automation technologies fundamentally changes data centre architectures, driving out layers of equipment and accelerating connectivity between compute and storage elements.
This is evident across the board from hyper-converged environments all the way to hyper-scale environments.
The architectural shift is met with a growing requirement among enterprise and service provider buyers that they be able to make independent purchasing decisions around the networking hardware and software that they select.
This level of technology disaggregation, which Dell EMC calls Open Networking, is central to the shift to software-defined networking (SDN), as networking software options and capability dramatically increase.
The new Z9264F-ON embraces this new consumption model, offering customers more software choices, whether commercial or open source, than competing alternatives opening the doors to greater innovation, greater savings, and ultimately greater control.
“Dell EMC is helping to transform modern data centre networks with their vision for Open Networking,” said Ram Velaga, senior vice president and general manager, Switch Products at Broadcom, Inc.
“It’s exciting to see the momentum building around network disaggregation, leveraging the industry-leading breadth and velocity of Broadcom’s switch silicon portfolio. We’re looking forward to the success of the new Z9264F-ON platforms, powered by our StrataXGS Tomahawk II silicon, in delivering peak network performance to customers along with maximum software choice.”
Open Networking and 100GbE – Uncompromising choice and performance
More than four years ago, Dell EMC challenged the industry status quo with Open Networking, decoupling the fundamental hardware and software buildings blocks.
Since then, Dell EMC has transformed its entire product line to adopt this vision granting customers of all sizes maximum choice and capability from the data centre to the edge.
The Z9264F-ON advances this vision, bringing Open Networking to cutting-edge silicon, enabling denser 100GbE deployments and faster data centres overall.
“2018 is looking to be a big year for 100GbE adoption in the data centre with market forecasts projecting port shipments to almost triple by end of the year,” said Sameh Boujelbene, Senior Director at Dell’Oro Group.
“We see the rapid transition from 40GbE to 100GbE combined with an increased adoption of fixed form-factor system fueling the growth. Given these conditions, the new Z9264F-ON is well-timed and the Open Networking proposition uniquely positioned.”
Alternative commercial offerings with equivalent densities are only available in ‘closed’ configurations restricting use with only that supplier’s software.
This naturally limits choice, but more importantly, capability. Open Networking unlocks those restrictions, unlocking critical capabilities and value.
“Customers are looking for ways to massively simplify and scale operations, while balancing the important shift to hybrid cloud,” said Douglas Murray, CEO of Big Switch Networks.
“We are proud of the partnership between Dell EMC and Big Switch, and believe our Cloud-First software and Dell EMC’s new Z9264F-ON is a winning combination for our joint customers.”
“Cumulus Networks embodies Open Networking and continues to push the next frontier with Dell EMC,” said Josh Leslie, CEO of Cumulus Networks.
“Our combined vision enables faster, more capable networks by pairing Cumulus Linux and NetQ software with the new Z9264F-ON. Open alternatives, with proven scalability, flexibility and economics, deliver a real alternative to expensive and rigid proprietary solutions.”
The Z9264F-ON combined with either Dell EMC or partner software enable highly flexibly and capable physical network infrastructure.
In modern data centres, the physical networks are unified with virtual networks to connect virtual machines and containers and to form a software-defined data centre. To achieve this, Dell EMC partners closely with VMware, providing ‘better together’ solutions to streamline costs and operations.
“The Virtual Cloud Network, built using VMware NSX, enables customers to create an end-to-end software-based network architecture that is ubiquitous, open, programmable, secure by default, and can deliver services to applications and data, regardless of location,” said Peder Ulander, vice president of product marketing, Networking and Security Business Unit, VMware.
“With the new Z9264-ON from Dell EMC, customers can deploy a high-performance and open network infrastructure to support their Virtual Cloud Network.”
Open source and 100GbE– Accelerating community adoption and development
Open source networking technologies are rapidly gaining in maturity due to a number of open source projects sponsored by developer communities and network operators.
These emerging software alternatives naturally require an underlying open hardware platform. This makes the Z9264F a perfect fit for that purpose.
With the Z9264F-ON, customers can elect to run Dell EMC’s OS10 Open Edition package which is based on the Linux Foundation’s OpenSwitch software or alternatively download freely available versions of OpenSwitch or SONiC from the Open Compute Project.
This introduces a whole new set of capabilities and communities to drive ongoing innovation and collaboration.
“Open source software and Open Networking hardware go hand-in-hand,” said Paul Parker-Johnson, principal analyst, ACG Research.
“According to our recent study, we expect the data centre switching and routing market to grow from $8.1 billion in 2018 to $19.9 billion in 2023, reflecting continued growth in cloud provider infrastructures as well as new sources of demand in enterprise and service provider ‘edge cloud’ deployments. Open source networking software and hardware will play a significant role in these deployments, growing at a compound rate of 40% through 2023, earning a 15% share by that date.”
“We are excited to see Dell EMC take a leadership role in the area of open source networking, and in particular, the OpenSwitch initiative,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager, Networking and Orchestration at The Linux Foundation.
“Open innovation at peak speeds is what the industry is demanding and we are excited that the community is stepping up to meet the challenge.”