Dell Networking has expanded its S-series portfolio with the new S6000, the industry’s highest-density 1RU 10/40GbE switching platform for highly-virtualised data centres.
A fixed form factor design, the S6000 doubles the density and throughput while consuming up to 50 percent less power than previous generation top-of-rack switches. Built-in advanced virtualisation and automation features help customers scale larger virtual deployments in a smaller physical footprint, and helps solve the challenge of bridging virtualised and non-virtualised aspects of the infrastructure.

Today’s data centres are going through substantive and rapid change. This includes growth in server virtualisation and cloud deployments are driving denser deployments with significantly increased bandwidth requirements; and the predominance of East-West traffic inside data centres generated by newer workloads such as Hadoop, virtual desktop infrastructure, web and cloud applications is causing many customers to consider new network architectures to maximise efficiency and economics.

Highlights include:
* High-density – deployed as 32 40GbE ports or 96 10GbE ports plus 8 40GbE ports in 1RU, the S6000 can support new, more flexible network architectures for high-density compute racks in top-of-rack position, or provide network connectivity for multiple racks in efficient end-of-row or middle-of-row configurations.

* High-throughput – provides up to 2,56Tbps performance, twice that of similar competitive products in a standard 1RU form factor allowing customers to aggressively invest in 10GbE for in-rack server and storage connectivity.

* Energy efficient – S6000 is Fresh Air capable and validated as part of Dell’s Fresh Air cooling solution for servers, storage and networking. By leveraging the thermal and reliability advantages engineered into this portfolio of equipment, customers are able to run data centres even warmer, helping reduce additional maintenance and infrastructure costs, while enabling lower overall energy consumption.

S6000 supports advanced network virtualisation and software-defined networking features including hardware-accelerated layer 2 gateway functionality for use with VMware NSX, bridging traffic between virtualised and non-virtualised environments.

Dell is also previewing enhanced functionality with Active Fabric Manager (AFM) 2.0 specifically for VMware environments. Active Fabric Manager provides simplified configuration, management and monitoring of Dell Active Fabric leaf and spine elements.

With AFM 2.0, Dell will be introducing command line interface functionality for VMware vSphere Distributed Switch allowing customers to now configure both physical and virtual fabric switches with common design templates and industry-standard command line syntax.

Like the rest of the Dell Networking S-series portfolio, S6000 supports OpenFlow for controller-based applications; Bare Metal Provisioning (BMP) for rapid and automated deployments; Virtual Server Networking (VSN) for automated VM mobility and VLAN configuration; and Perl and Python scripting for maximum programmability and interworkings with development operations (DevOps).

All of this makes the S6000 highly adaptable and flexible and built to simplify operations.

“Virtual environments are expanding while physical footprints remain constant, resulting in massive density increases in servers and storage. Networks need to keep up. That’s what inspired the S6000,” says Nick Black, Dell Enterprise Manager South Africa. “The S6000 platform can help customers unify virtualised and non-virtualised IT elements, providing a gateway to a software-defined enterprise.”

“The S6000 delivers a re-imagining of the data centre backbone,” adds Black. “The 40Gb/s data centre core transition begins in earnest with the arrival of high-density fixed-configuration switches.”

“To help accelerate the adoption of Network Virtualisation technologies, it will be imperative for organisations to have visibility across both the virtualised and physical network environment,” says Bob Laliberte, senior analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group.

“The Dell S6000 is tightly integrated with VMware solutions to enable a holistic view of the network environment that will enable faster troubleshooting and more effective provisioning.”