Voltaire unveils 'scale-out' 10-GbE architecture, designed to boost data center economics

May 4, 2009 -- Voltaire has introduced a 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10-GbE) switching strategy designed to improve the user experience and economics of data center networking. Based on Layer 2 core switches using Converged Enhanced Ethernet (CEE) technology that leverages many of the characteristics inherent in InfiniBand, Voltaire says its "scale-out" Ethernet architecture enables users to benefit from a more scalable, lower latency, virtualized 10 Gigabit Ethernet fabric.

May 4, 2009 -- Voltaire Ltd. has introduced a 10 Gigabit Ethernet switching strategy it says is designed to fundamentally improve the user experience and economics of data center networking. Based on Layer 2 core switches using Converged Enhanced Ethernet (CEE) technology that leverages many of the characteristics inherent in InfiniBand, Voltaire says its "scale-out" Ethernet architecture enables users to benefit from a more scalable, lower latency, and virtualized 10 Gigabit Ethernet fabric, with lower costs and power consumption and simplified management.

The company's new 10 Gigabit Ethernet offerings are an extension of its family of 20 and 40 Gb/s InfiniBand switching platforms and software and enable customers to choose the underlying data center fabric, based on their application requirements and individual technology practices. At the center of Voltaire's scale-out Ethernet architecture are new high-density Layer 2 core switches based on CEE standards that deliver a high-performance, low-latency, low power and virtualized data center fabric. Instead of using many hierarchical switching tiers, the Voltaire approach uses fewer switches and allows greater scalability while guaranteeing higher performance, simplified management and lower costs. For a customer building a 1000 node data center, this approach delivers 10X lower latency and 4X faster core performance for half the price, using 3X less power than alternative solutions.

"The current multi-tiered approach to data center Ethernet networking is expensive and outdated, lacks innovation and encourages vendor lock-in," comments Ronnie Kenneth, chairman and chief executive officer, Voltaire. "With Voltaire's unique scale-out approach to Ethernet, we're simplifying and flattening the network to improve data center networking economics by orders of magnitude. Together with our server OEM partners, we're bringing new value to the customer that can translate into millions of dollars in savings for a new data center build-out."

"In addition, Voltaire's heritage of software innovation for InfiniBand will extend to our Ethernet offerings to enhance their performance and ease of management," adds Kenneth.

"With the growth of consolidation, virtualization and cloud computing in the data center, the core of the data center network is currently undergoing an evolution of requirements with the development of new network technologies specifically for the data center," offers Mark Fabbi, vice president, enterprise networking, Gartner Research. "These new high-end data center requirements are opening the door for innovation, causing a new category of Layer 2 core switches to emerge enabling high-capacity, scale-out fabrics to support thousands of servers that don't require the expensive, multi-tiered architecture of days gone by."

"We are approaching our new data center design with fresh thinking and innovative ways to maximize space and cost to deliver the lowest latency and best performance to our customers," adds Steve Rubinow, EVP and co-CIO, NYSE Euronext. "Voltaire's scale-out approach to Ethernet fabrics is unique and very well-aligned with the scalable infrastructure we will deploy in our next generation global data centers."

Voltaire says its scale-out Ethernet fabric is uniquely designed to be linearly scalable, meaning the fabric maintains its high performance, low costs and ease of management even when deployed in very large setups consisting of thousands of nodes. Designed for efficiency, the Voltaire scale-out Ethernet fabric's optimized design uses high-density, low latency, energy-efficient and low cost Layer 2 non-blocking switches. The converged fabric can run LAN, IPC, and storage (including FCoE) traffic simultaneously with guaranteed service attributes and dynamic congestion management. Further, Voltaire's virtualization-aware scale-out Ethernet fabric provides application- and service-driven fabric monitoring and SLA enforcement. Finally, the Voltaire scale-out Ethernet fabric supports industry-standard servers, third party switches, management and virtualization solutions.

"Scale-out enterprise customers exploring 10 Gigabit Ethernet want higher performance at a lower cost," says Ed Turkel, manager of product marketing, Scalable Computing and Infrastructure, HP. "Voltaire's new scale-out Ethernet architecture and Layer 2 core switches, coupled with HP server and blade platforms, remove previous cost and performance barriers that prohibited widespread adoption of 10 Gigabit Ethernet."

Voltaire's scale-out Ethernet architecture initiative has been underway for more than 18 months and uses a shared resource and development model. The company has a robust, detailed InfiniBand switching roadmap and many existing and future software products have been designed to work on both InfiniBand and Ethernet. Voltaire is leveraging its close partnerships with server OEMs as the main distribution channel for the new 10 Gigabit Ethernet offerings.

"Voltaire's scale-out approach to 10 Gigabit Ethernet is well-aligned with IBM's cloud networking and next generation data center solutions," concludes Alex Yost, vice president, IBM System x and BladeCenter. "The combination of IBM BladeCenter, iDataPlex and rackmount servers and a Voltaire Ethernet fabric will enable virtualized environments that address the new performance, scalability and efficiency requirements of our data center clients."

On the Web:
www.voltaire.com


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