Woven to introduce datacenter switch, management tools

Woven's 1RU EFX 500 switch sports 24 10Gbps Ethernet ports to let users grow their datacenter network cores into thousands of external 10G Ethernet devices

Woven Systems this week is expected to unveil a compact datacenter fabric switch and management system designed to let users incrementally upgrade networks to 10 Gigabit Ethernet with increasing insight and control.

Woven's 1RU EFX 500 switch sports 24 10Gbps Ethernet ports intended to let users grow their datacenter network cores from small server and storage clusters to thousands of external 10G Ethernet devices. The Woven Fabric Manager software offers resource provisioning, real-time visualization, reporting, and analysis for Woven's entire datacenter switching product line.

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Datacenter management has been an active market of late. Last week, Woven competitor Force 10 announced its VirtualView management software, which is a set of tools in the company's FTOS operating system that provides real-time network traffic analysis and management for troubleshooting and benchmarking performance in virtualized environments.

And Juniper Networks this week is expected to tout its management prowess as a key component of its datacenter switching vision.

Woven's goal, meanwhile, is for datacenter customers to implement its new EFX 500, which was developed with the same vSCALE ASICs employed in Woven's 144-port 10G Ethernet EFX 1000 chassis. vSCALE is designed to balance traffic flows in real-time over a 10G Ethernet fabric for congestion avoidance, low latency, and failover of less than 10 microseconds.

EFX 500 ports can be configured with SFP+ or CX4 interfaces; separate Gigabit Ethernet and serial ports are available for out-of-band management. High-availability features include redundant power supplies and redundant reversible cooling fans.

To monitor the EFX 500 and all Woven switches in the datacenter, the company unveiled WFM (Woven Fabric Manager). WFM reports multichassis fabric topology status and monitors real-time traffic flows along all paths to assess a variety of performance metrics, including latency and jitter. Operators can also evaluate historic and real-time performance statistics for individual flows and ports, Woven says.

WFM also leverages vSCALE, for real-time flow latency tracking. It supports programmable scripting, Web-based user interfaces, MySQL and Oracle databases, and is available for both Windows and Linux operating systems.

The EFX 500 switch and WFM will ship in January 2009. Pricing was not disclosed.

WFM is similar to Force10's VirtualView in many respects. VirtualView is also designed to deliver core-to-edge visibility of the Force10 network through data sampling, and subsequent analysis by third-party tools and monitoring mechanisms to establish baseline and ongoing application performance statistics.

Once these thresholds are met, administrators can enforce and monitor service-level agreements and offer "high-touch" services on virtual machines, such as guaranteed bandwidth per application or virtual machine, and more in-depth monitoring to avoid malicious traffic and DoS attacks.

This story, "Woven to introduce datacenter switch, management tools" was originally published by Network World.