Accton Technology open sources 10-GbE top-of-rack switch design

Open Compute Project's new open infrastructure initiatives will speed availability of open switching solutions.

Accton Technology announced that it has joined the Open Compute Project (OCP), and will open source via OCP the design of a 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10-GbE) top-of-rack switch, and the design of an adapter to allow standard 19” rack switches to function in an Open Rack configurations.

“We are excited to welcome Accton to the OCP community,” comments Frank Frankovsky, chairman and president of the Open Compute Project Foundation. “By contributing its top-of-rack switch and the Open Rack adapter design to the foundation, Accton will further open up the data center and lay the groundwork for greater flexibility and innovation to be incorporated in future open switching solutions.”

Accton is contributing hardware designs through OCP of the following networking products:

-- Edge-Core AS5712-54X Top-of-Rack Switch. The switch is billed as a cost-optimized hardware design for volume rack deployments, with forty-eight 10-GbE SFP+ and six 40-GbE QSFP ports in a 1U form factor. The switch is based on Broadcom’s StrataXGS Trident II Ethernet Switch silicon, and has a CPU daughter module with an Intel Atom C2538 processor.

-- Open Rack Switch Adapter. The adapter is a mechanical sled that enables any standard 19” rack-mountable 1U network switch to slide into an Open Rack, with a means to secure the adapter to the Open Rack and provide cabling to the 12VDC bus bar.

-- Complete design files for the hardware, including schematics, Gerber files, and mechanical design files for the AS5712-54X switch will be contributed by Accton when the designs are accepted by OCP.

Concurrent with the open sourcing project, Accton’s go-to-market subsidiary, Edge-Core Networks, has donated switch equipment to the Open Compute Certification and Solutions Laboratory at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), and is partnering with UTSA in its Cloud and Big Data Laboratory. Accton and Edge-Core say their broad involvement in OCP and with open infrastructure industry initiatives will provide customers with more choice of open switches to deploy more easily managed and cost-effective data center infrastructures.

Edge-Core is supporting the UTSA Open Compute Certification and Solutions Laboratory by donating bare-metal data center switches for use by the newly formed laboratory in its OCP infrastructure and its certification of bare-metal switches with the Open Network Install Environment (ONIE). Edge-Core is a member of ONIE.org and the entire portfolio of Edge-Core bare-metal switches ship with ONIE, enabling the automated installation of independent switchOS software from partners including Big Switch Networks, Broadcom, and Cumulus Networks.

Edge-Core is also supporting the UTSA Cloud and Big Data Laboratory with switches and technical support.

“Edge-Core recognizes the importance of partnering with switchOS providers, SDN software solution companies, and data center and cloud infrastructure integrators to enable customers to deploy our switches in a robust data center fabric,” said Min Chao, president of Edge-Core Networks. “The UTSA’s work in providing validation and research into open infrastructures based on OCP, SDN and OpenStack technologies is extremely valuable to help make these solutions deployable by the broad enterprise market.”

Top-of-Rack Switch Design

The Edge-Core AS5712-54X switch, whose hardware design is being contributed to OCP by Accton, is designed for top-of-rack or leaf switch deployments, in a compact 1U form factor, mountable in a standard 19 inch rack or with the Open Rack Switch Adapter in an Open Rack.

The AS5712-54X provides forty-eight 10-GbE SFP+ and six 40-GbE QSFP ports, and is based on Broadcom’s StrataXGS Trident II Ethernet Switch silicon, which enables line rate performance with low latency, and on-chip support for VXLAN and NVGRE tunneling protocols for network virtualization. The switch has a CPU daughter module which includes an Intel Atom C2538 processor, to enable software partners and data center operators to run network operating systems, scripts and applications built with standard Linux tools.

The AS5712-54X switch is designed with direct SERDES connections from the Trident II Switch silicon, without PHY or retimer components, to reduce cost, latency, and power consumption while maximizing reliability. The switch has redundant power supplies with options available for AC, 48VDC, or 12VDC power inputs, and redundant fans with port-to-power or power-to-port airflow options. The AS5712-54X will be available through Edge-Core channel partners as a bare-metal switch in July.

“Edge-Core Networks offers a complete portfolio of data center switches for top-of-rack and spine deployments, supporting 1-GbE, 10-GbE or 40-GbE,” said George Tchaparian, Accton’s SVP of engineering. “Accton’s submission of the complete hardware design for a cost-optimized top-of-rack switch, based on leading Broadcom StrataXGS Trident II switch silicon, Intel x86 processor, and with the Open Network Install Environment, demonstrates our commitment to provide open network solutions.”

Accton is a sponsor of the Open Big Cloud Symposium at UTSA on May 7-8, and will be exhibiting the AS5712-54X and Edge-Core’s complete portfolio of data center switches at the event. Accton will be presenting the specifications for its switch and open rack adapter design contributions at the OCP Network Workshop meeting at UTSA on May 8.

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