Force10 is unveiling its new ExaScale E-Series family of routers and switches as a key part of its Virtualization Framework, designed to improve efficiency and agility in enterprise data centers looking to virtualization and cloud computing to help reduce costs and improve performance. Force10's moves come as vendors such as Cisco and HP look to combine hardware, software and services to help businesses adopt virtualization and cloud computing technologies.
Force10 Networks is rolling out a key part of the virtualization strategy it introduced less than two months ago.
Force10 in February unveiled its Virtualization Framework, an
initiative designed to ease the management of virtualized data centers.
It included a suite of terabit-enabled virtualization
and management software as well as tools for helping with development of virtualized data centers.
On March 23, the company announced its ExaScale E-Series of switches
and routers that officials say are needed in data centers deploying
virtualization and cloud computing technologies.
The ExaScale E-Series products support the 10 Gigabit Ethernet
environments that are growing in prominence in data centers, and also
offer designs that improve cooling and power capabilities, reducing
system power use and cutting per-port consumption by up to 70 percent
over other platforms, officials said.
Key features in the ExaScale E-Series switches and routers including
the ability to offer 100 Gbps of useable data capacity per slot, total
throughput of more than 2 billion packets per second across a switching
fabric capacity of up to 3.5 Tbps, and the capability of delivering
continuous non-blocking, line rate throughput, which eliminates network
bottlenecks, said Steve Garrison, vice president of marketing at
Garrison also said that the new family of products is powered by
FTOS, Force10's Unix-like operating system that is common across all of
the company's Reliable Networking switch and router products.
Force10's moves with its virtualization push and, now, the ExaScale
E-Series routers and switches come at a time when infrastructure
vendors are looking for ways to help businesses that are under
extreme budgetary stress to utilize virtual technologies and the
burgeoning cloud computing offerings within their data centers.
The company's virtualization strategy includes such products as
VirtualScale consolidation software, VirtualControl networking
partitioning tool and VirtualView, which enables businesses to monitor
the virtual network and automate the deployment of resources based on
The goal of the Virtualization Framework initiative-including the
ExaScale E-Series-is to give enterprises a standards-based way of
deploying and managing virtualized data centers, and thus improve
efficiency and agility within the facilities.
Top-tier companies such as Cisco Systems
and Hewlett-Packard are working to integrate hardware, software and
services to give businesses a complete offering on which to base their
current and future data center plans. For example, Cisco March 16
unveiled its Unified Computing System program that includes not only
its networking experience, but upcoming blade servers and technologies
from such partners as VMware and EMC.
Garrison said he sees opportunity in light of Cisco's announced plans. Cisco is looking to be an all-in-one provider, he said.
"But what if you want choice?" he asked.
That's where a company such as Force10, with a more open plan, comes
in, Garrison said. He also said Force10 offers a more efficient and
greener alternative to Cisco's Nexus products.
In addition, Cisco's decision to expand its presence in the data
center could put a strain on relationships that company has with such
partners as HP, IBM, Dell and Sun Microsystems, which could help
strengthen Force10's workings with those vendors, Garrison said.
A half-rack ExaScale E1200i chassis bundle starts at $89,000 and is
available immediately. A one-third rack E600i chassis bundle will be
available in the third quarter.