Force10 to Ship Switch with Storage and Processing

Posted on April 26, 2011 By Stuart Johnston

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It was bound to happen. With all of the buzz about cloud computing spreading globally, it was just a matter of time before someone came out with a multi-function "cloud-in-a-rack" offering.

Force10 Networks, a maker of high-performance datacenter solutions, announced Tuesday its new S-Series S7000 Open Cloud Switch, which combines switching with storage and application processing in a single 2U rack space.

"Optimized for vertical enterprise and cloud datacenter market segments, the S7000 enables 'cloud-in-a-rack' capabilities and brings a new level of convergence and functionality to the top of rack," according to a statement from San Jose, Calif.-based Force10.

Combined with the S7000 Open Cloud Switch, the company's Open Cloud Networking framework, which was also announced Tuesday, is meant to streamline deployment and management of both conventional enterprise datacenters as well as cloud environments.

The S7000 features 64 10GB Ethernet (10 GbE) non-blocking ports, as well as User Port Stacking and Virtual Link Tracking. It can also be used to eliminate unneeded storage appliances, switches, and cabling, besides reducing overall energy usage.

"Using the appliance module, for example, users could perform a wide array of functions [both] standard and customized -- such as] load balancing, firewalling, packet sniffing, caching, etc. -- directly on the switch for many applications, eliminating the need for an additional external server or storage device for that function," Force10's statement said.

The S7000 will feature four appliance module bays for which the company plans to provide appliance modules. Additionally, Force10 plans to work with various vertical third-party software providers to qualify their applications to work on the system.

The S7000 will support both Ethernet and storage traffic, including both Data Center Bridging and Fibre Channel over Ethernet.

Force10's S7000 Open Cloud Switch is slated to ship during the second half of the year.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.


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