Dell EMC Doubles Down on 100 Gigabit Ethernet for the Modern Data Center

Dell EMC has introduced its latest Z-series 100GbE fabric switch, the Z9264F-ON, doubling its capacity and delivering a complete set of open solutions for modern enterprise and service provider data centers.

The new platform, powered by Broadcom’s  6.4 Terabit/second Ethernet switching silicon, StrataXGS Tomahawk II, is purpose-built for high-performance data center spine or fabric applications, providing fast network connectivity between data center racks. Delivering 64 ports of 100GbE in a compact 2RU form factor, the new Z9264F-ON is particularly useful for customers seeking to retire legacy chassis switching systems while also accelerating transitions from 40GbE to 100GbE, the company says.

Enterprise and service provider customers have been “unequivocal” in their desire for innovative and open networking solutions for their data center infrastructure,” said Tom Burns, senior vice president and general manager, Dell EMC Networking and Solutions. The new Z9264F-ON delivers on that desire, providing customers with a capable 100GbE switching platform and granting customers maximum control over their network spend and their infrastructure.

According to Dell EMC, data centers continue to serve as the foundation for IT operations and service delivery. Investments in these facilities, whether on premise, hosted, or available as cloud facilities, are on the rise. In all environments, the network is critical for providing connectivity within and between data center racks, between data centers themselves, out to the edge and ultimately to end-users. Coupled with this, the adoption of virtualization and automation technologies fundamentally changes data center architectures, driving out layers of equipment and accelerating connectivity between compute and storage elements. The trend is evident across the board from hyper-converged environments all the way to hyper-scale environments.

The architectural shift is met with a growing requirement among enterprise and service provider buyers that they be able to make independent purchasing decisions around the networking hardware and software that they select. This level of technology disaggregation, which Dell EMC calls “open networking,” is central to the shift to software-defined networking (SDN), as networking software options and capability dramatically increase, the company says. The new Z9264F-ON is designed to offer customers more software choices, whether commercial or open source, than competing alternatives, opening the doors to greater innovation, greater savings, and ultimately greater control.

The Z9264F-ON, combined with either Dell EMC or partner software, enables a flexible and capable physical network infrastructure. In modern data centers, the physical networks are unified with virtual networks to connect virtual machines and containers and to form a software-defined data center. To achieve this, Dell EMC partners closely with VMware, providing ‘better together’ solutions to streamline costs and operations.

In addition, notes the company, as open source networking technologies gain in maturity due to a number of open source projects sponsored by developer communities and network operators, the emerging software alternatives also require an underlying open hardware platform. This makes the Z9264F a strong fit for that purpose.

With the Z9264F-ON, customers can elect to run Dell EMC’s OS10 Open Edition package which is based on the Linux Foundation’s OpenSwitch software or download freely available versions of OpenSwitch or SONiC from the Open Compute Project.

The Dell EMC Z9264F-ON will begin shipping worldwide on Aug. 31, 2018.

Dell EMC is a part of Dell Technologies