Force10 unveils Open Cloud Networking data center framework

April 27, 2011
Force10 Networks has introduced its Open Cloud Networking (OCN) framework, billed as "a new vision for cloud and conventional data centers that is built on open architectures, open automation, and open ecosystems."

Force10 Networks has introduced its Open Cloud Networking (OCN) framework, billed as "a new vision for cloud and conventional data centers that is built on open architectures, open automation, and open ecosystems."

According to the company, the OCN framework represents "a new way to build, scale and manage data centers powered by a new family of centralized and distributed core switches, a top of rack (ToR) open cloud switch and automation software that deliver powerful new capabilities for the next generation of data centers."

"Data center operators have multiple sets of needs that don’t fall neatly into a one-size-fits-all package," said Arpit Joshipura, chief marketing officer at Force10 Networks. "The Open Cloud Networking vision provides a range of standards-based products that enable customers to customize their data center implementations for any need without compromising price or performance."

Force10 says that OCN enables standards-based open architectures that are interoperable with competitors offering customers a choice in how they build their core and top-of-rack elements in the data center. New building blocks for these open architectures now available from the company include:

-- The new Z9000 distributed core switch, which enables highly scalable, leaf-and-spine data center architectures, and is billed as one of the smallest and least expensive core switches ever offered. Designed in a 2RU form factor, the switch delivers 2.5 Tb of switching capacity in 1/10 the space and with 1/20 the power consumption at 1/5 the price of competing products. The new Z9512 is a centralized, chassis-based switch that delivers 9.6 Tb of switching capacity in half a rack.

-- The S7000 Open Cloud Switch is a next-generation ToR device that incorporates 3-in-1 ToR convergence of switching, storage, and application processing capabilities. With the ability to run third-party applications directly on the switch, the S7000 delivers a new level of convergence and flexibility at the top of rack.

-- New FTOS advanced software features including TRILL (Transparent Interconnection of Lots of Links), DCB (Data Center Bridging), EVB (Ethernet Virtual Bridging), and VEPA (Virtual Ethernet Port Aggregation).

Open Automation 2.0 – For automating switch configuration and management, Force10 is expanding its Open Automation to deliver greater automation capabilities throughout the product line. In the third quarter of 2011, Force10 will open the ScriptStore, an online resource and forums that will allow users to purchase automation scripts and share techniques for automating Force10 products. In addition, Force10 has enhanced the Open Automation Framework with port profile support, EVB/VEPA, and HyperLinks.

Open Ecosystems – Force10 says it has built a strong ecosystem with industry and technology leaders in the compute, storage, applications and orchestration domains to ensure standards-based interoperability for its OCN solutions.

"With traffic patterns now dominated with east-west plus north-south flows and latency plus scale being of primary concern, data center architects are now focused on a new two-tier cloud network that's open, virtualization aware, reliable and flexible," said Nick Lippis, editor and publisher of The Lippis Report. "The Force10 Open Cloud Networking framework, along with its new products and technology – the new ZettaScale switches and the new S7000 cloud switch – address these concerns, offering architects design options and choices previously unavailable."

"It is good for the market to see Force10 take the open, standards-based architectural approach in their OCN vision. With the OCN option, users have the chance to reduce capex costs by selecting best-of-breed storage, application, orchestration, networking, and computing solutions," concludes Michael Howard, principal analyst and co-founder of Infonetics Research.


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