Force10 targets 40G data centers

April 19, 2010
The company is betting that better economics will drive greater adoption of 40 Gigabit Ethernet vs.100 GbE to meet growing bandwidth needs in data center networks.

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Force10 Networks, Inc., the global technology leader that data center, service provider and enterprise customers rely on when the network is their business, today announced that the company plans to incorporate 40 Gigabit Ethernet (40 GbE) into its switch/router solutions to provide the most economical incremental step from 10 GbE for dynamic data centers. From the uplink at the server edge to the network core, Force10 plans to take a leadership role and develop solutions focused on this important emerging IEEE standard.

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Driven by the ever-growing bandwidth demands being placed on data center and service provider networks, an increase in Ethernet transmission rates is needed and is expected to be ratified by the IEEE in June of this year. Force10 anticipates that economic considerations will drive the deployment of 40 GbE solutions from end-to-end in the dynamic data center. While future market factors will eventually reduce the cost of 100 GbE technology, the price point of 40 GbE will more cost effectively keep pace with the requirements for more bandwidth at the server edge, as well for higher capacity interconnects in the data center core.

“It is an exciting time as the investment made by the industry over the past four years in 40 GbE and 100 GbE is set to culminate in June with the ratification of the IEEE P802.3ba standard,” said John D’Ambrosia, chair of the IEEE P802.3ba Task Force and director of standards for Force10 Networks. “This standard will provide the tools needed to add bandwidth and reduce complexity in the data center.”

Applying 40 GbE to Solutions

While ratification of the 40 GbE standard by the IEEE is pending, Force10 is preparing to deliver end-to-end, edge-to-core 40 GbE switch/router solutions. Initially, Force10 plans to incorporate 40 GbE into a 10 GbE top-of-rack access switch for converging Fibre Channel and Ethernet fabrics. In addition, Force10’s E-Series™ core switch/router is 40/100 GbE-ready today, and its C-Series™ of resilient chassis-based switches are 40 GbE-ready. By also leveraging the Force10 Open Automation and Virtualization Framework, Force10’s solutions will power the dynamic data center of the future.

Financial and Technology Drivers Continue to Make 40 GbE a More “Practical” Option

“The unstoppable crush of data is causing scaling problems in data centers that are today confined to 10 GbE networks. Even though 100 GbE is desired, data center owners are looking for practical relief offered in the lower-cost 40 GbE,” says Michael Howard, co-founder and principal analyst for carrier and data center networks, Infonetics Research. “100 GbE makes sense at some point as the technology becomes more cost effective, but customers want solutions to simplify their data center networks and drive down costs today.”

“Data center managers and service providers are taking steps today to simplify their network,” says Nick Lippis, independent industry analyst and publisher of the Lippis Report. “Even as they task their network to perform greater, they want fewer network layers to manage and fewer uplinks required in the network. Consolidated I/O will perform much better with increments of 40 GbE. Configurations can migrate from 4 x 10G uplinks and move to 2 x 40 GbE, doubling bandwidth while cutting port count by 50%.”

“The emergence of 40 GbE is an important step toward making it possible from a bandwidth perspective to converge storage, compute and network resources on to Ethernet technology,” says Steven Schuchart Jr., principal data center analyst, Current Analysis. “Having a complete 40 GbE solution that leverages network automation, virtualization and convergence will strike that balance between optimized data center network performance and efficiency. This will provide a basis for advanced services designed to meet the specific challenges of next-generation data centers and enterprises, specifically service providers.”

“Force10 stands poised to take the leadership position in 40 GbE because we recognize how this standard, when combined with network automation and convergence, will shape the direction of the next-generation data center,” says Stephen Garrison, vice president of marketing, Force10 Networks. “We look forward to working with our ecosystem partners to ensure Force10 equipment operates effectively within their infrastructure and delivers value to customers through greater performance and lower complexity.”

For more information on Force10 Networks, please visit

Force10 Networks, Force10, E-Series, Traverse, and TraverseEdge are registered trademarks and ExaScale, S-Series, TeraScale, and FTOS are trademarks of Force10 Networks, Inc. All other company names are trademarks of their respective holders.

Force10 Networks Inc.
Kevin Kimball, +1 408-571-3544
[email protected]

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