Nokia to supply switches for Microsoft’s data center networks

May 3, 2022
Nokia will deliver the additional networking scale and capacity that Microsoft requires for its data center environments to support the bandwidth growth of its Azure platform.

As part of a multi-faceted agreement, Nokia in April announced that it will provide data center switching for Microsoft’s data center facilities, to support burgeoning bandwidth growth to the Microsoft Azure platform.

The new deal expands a long-standing relationship between the two companies, "who have been working together to bring massively scaled, agile and highly resilient networking to the data center environment," they said in a statement.

Specifically, the new agreement builds upon the companies’ collaboration as part of the open source SONiC initiative to develop chassis-based platforms focused on the requirements of high-capacity data centers.

Vach Kompella, Vice President, IP Networks Division, Nokia, noted, “Today’s data centers have their own unique operational challenges, and Nokia has been working closely for some time now with Microsoft to understand its evolving data center needs and requirements. Our expertise in building high-performance, chassis-based systems was a key factor in our selection.”

Platform specifics

With the significant growth of cloud services and cloud computing and the move to 400GE, Nokia has been selected to supply its 7250 IXR chassis-based interconnect routers to support high-density 400GE applications in Microsoft’s ‘Tier-2’ network architecture. Nokia will also be supplying fixed-form-factor platforms into other Microsoft network applications.

Nokia contends its next-generation data center switching portfolio platforms "delivers the scale, openness, aggregation and interconnectivity required for modern data center networks." The company's 7250 IXR router offers a range of high-performance chassis-based and fixed-form-factor options for data center top of rack (TOR), leaf, spine and super-spine applications.

The platform supports port speeds up to 400GE, with a path to 800GE, along with comprehensive IP and Ethernet feature sets.

David Maltz, technical fellow and corporate vice president, Microsoft Azure Networking, concluded, “Nokia’s platforms were a natural choice to deliver the massive-scale interconnectivity that Microsoft requires. Nokia brings density, performance and flexibility to Microsoft’s data center networks and cloud environments, and is partnering with Microsoft to deliver chassis switches running the open source networking operating system SONiC.”

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