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NEC Launches SDN-Compatible Switches for Hyperscale Data Centers

June 08, 2015

It is no secret that one of the reasons there is so much interest in Software-Defined Networking (SDN) is that along with the operational advantages of process automation, thanks to virtualization the idea is to do more with less.  Translated this means enhancing agility to scale up and down as necessary and also having increased capacity without increasing the physical footprint and energy requirements of hyperscale data centers.

It is thus not surprising that Japan computing giant NEC Corporation has announced the development of two new Software-Defined Networking (SDN) compatible switches that enable network configurations the equivalent to several thousand server racks. Needless-to-say it is aimed at operators of hyperscale centers, large enterprises, telecom carriers and service providers.

The switches, which go on sale globally immediately, address two different hyperscale data center needs:  

  • The PF5340-48XP-6Q is a Top of Rack (ToR) switch with a 48-port 10GbE interface for consolidating servers.
  • The PF5340-32QP is an aggregation switch that consolidates multiple racks with 32 40GbE ports.  
PF5340-48XP-6Q ToR Switch (left) and PF5340-32QP Aggregation Switch (right)

As NEC highlights, when used in combination with an SDN controller the switches enable a highly scalable and cost-efficient large data center network to be built utilizing SDN.

"SDN is one of the core areas NEC is focusing on in its Social Solutions Business, and to date NEC has amassed a track record of more than 250 system installations across the globe. These new switches help resolve issues faced when increasing the size of data centers, among them the complexity of operation and difficulties in expansion," said Toshio Suzuki, General Manager, Converged Network Division, NEC Corporation.

As can be seen from the specs, the need for speed inside the data center is front and center which is an important consideration given the fact that the majority of data traffic handled is inside the data center and the explosion of data now and coming is going to put premium maximum data interchange speeds at minimal cost and low energy consumption. It is why all of the vendors of physical appliances in the data center are boosting port speeds and looking to be SDN compatible.  

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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