Light Reading
The company doesn't want to be left out in the fabric wars of 2011

AlcaLu Wants the Data Center, Too

Craig Matsumoto
News Analysis
Craig Matsumoto
4/5/2011
50%
50%

Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) is announcing its own data center fabric on Tuesday, going up against Brocade One from Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD), the Unified Fabric from Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), and QFabric from Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR).

New pieces being introduced are the OmniSwitch 6900, which is a 10Gbit/s top-of-rack Ethernet switch, and OmniVista 2500 Virtual Machine Manager (VMM), which helps track and move virtual machines around the data center.

AlcaLu calls its fabric the Enterprise Mesh, and it uses the OmniSwitch 10K -- which was launched in October -- at its core. The recipe for the largest Enterprise Mesh configurations is as follows: Start with six OmniSwitch 9600s arranged in a pod. Five such pods can share a connection to the OmniSwitch 10K (that connection consisting of five 40Gbit/s links). Twelve of these five-pod units can be served by a pair of OmniSwitch 10Ks.

That whole shebang has a switching capacity of 169Tbit/s, AlcaLu claims.

The fabric connections will use a protocol called shortest path bridging (SPB). It's a rival to Trill, the protocol favored by Brocade. SPB is already used by service providers in wide-area networks, says Cliff Grossner, an AlcaLu director of product marketing. That fits with AlcaLu's goal of stretching its fabric across multiple data centers.

Why this matters
A battle royale is brewing around the concept of a data center fabric. AlcaLu has proven itself a worthy rival to Cisco and Juniper in service-provider networks; now it's engaging them (and Brocade) in the virtualized data center, where the "product" has become the entire network.

"I think 2011 is going to be the year of the fabric war," Grossner says. In terms of marketing, at least, that's certainly the case.

For more
AlcaLu's application fluency announcement from October, and other missives from the fabric wars:



— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

(7)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
scottdTBR
50%
50%
scottdTBR,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:08:43 PM
re: AlcaLu Wants the Data Center, Too


Hi Craig,


What's ALU's differentiator here? I know Juniper has said that their fabric cannot stretch across DCs, but I thought Cisco's could. Whatever it is, it will have to be pretty significant for them to get on the short list in these opportunities.


Scott

prinformant
50%
50%
prinformant,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:08:40 PM
re: AlcaLu Wants the Data Center, Too




<div>
<div>

The value of ALU solution is multiple folds:&nbsp;

</div>
</div>






1-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Scalable architecture with capability to scale from 240 server ports to 10,000+ server ports while reducing the CapEx and OpEx costs. Architecture and platforms ready to support 40Gig and 100Gig ready with no hardware change out required.




2-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Reduced latency with AFN architecture &ndash; 2usecs within the Pod




3-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Applications managed as a service with vNP profile. The network understands applications and automatically adapts




4-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Hybrid cloud is a reality. Data Center architecture scalable from intra data center to inter data center providing seamless private/public and hybrid cloud co-existence - A complete end to end solution

&nbsp;







&nbsp;

schlettie
50%
50%
schlettie,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:08:39 PM
re: AlcaLu Wants the Data Center, Too


That topology has high oversubscription.&nbsp; For each cluster of 5 pods (30 switches), there are 1200 10GE ports, but only 10 40GE links to the core.&nbsp; The oversubscription ratio is 30:1.

scottdTBR
50%
50%
scottdTBR,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:08:39 PM
re: AlcaLu Wants the Data Center, Too


Sounds great on paper, but what's ALU's strategy for getting enterprises to consider them over Cisco, HP, et al? ALU does have some differentiation in software and services which they can leverage. But like Cisco with UCS, they'll have to focus on winning smaller greenfield opportunities and using deep discounting to build their customer base.

prinformant
50%
50%
prinformant,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:08:38 PM
re: AlcaLu Wants the Data Center, Too


Looks like an upcoming global webinar will have some more details.&nbsp; http://tinyurl.com/3d4n56c
I found a link&nbsp;at the bottom of this page&nbsp;for more info and participation.


Pete Baldwin
50%
50%
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:08:37 PM
re: AlcaLu Wants the Data Center, Too


Scott -- You've hit on a central point here.&nbsp; AlcaLu can probably point to the latency and a half dozen other things ... but that's just it: The product here is the entire network, not just one box, and there are dozens if not hundreds of ways to slice that.&nbsp; Comparisons are going to be difficult.


Moreover, they've got less of a data-center heritage than Cisco or Brocade, and I'd argue they're behind Juniper as well. (Real data center people are welcome to correct me there.) Uphill battle is a good way to put it.

somedumbPM
50%
50%
somedumbPM,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:08:19 PM
re: AlcaLu Wants the Data Center, Too


The technical questions around all&nbsp;of the combined fabric&nbsp;talk&nbsp;involves the SPB vendors versus the Trill guys versus the homegrown flavors.&nbsp; What protocol will dominate?&nbsp; Who will support which ones -or better yet multiple ones?


If you are concerned with the company names at this point, you are best served not to make any purchases yet,&nbsp;IMHO.

Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Custom TV
Advantech Accelerates 100G Traffic Handling

10|17|14   |   7:56   |   (0) comments


Paul Stevens from Advantech explains why handling 100GbE needs a whole new platform design approach and how Advantech is addressing the needs of equipment providers and carriers to give them the flexibility and performance they will need for SDN and NFV deployment.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Holland's Imtech Traffic & Infra Discusses Huawei's ICT Solution and Services

10|16|14   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Dimitry Theebe is from the business unit at Imtech Traffic & Infra which delivers communications solutions for transportations. His partnershp with Huawei began about a years ago. In this video, Theebe speaks more about this partnership and what he hopes to accomplish with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Comprehensive Storage Solutions Vital for SVR

10|16|14   |   6:16   |   (0) comments


SVR Information Technology provides cloud services for academic and special sectors. With Huawei's support, SVR and Yildiz Technical University has established Turkey's largest and most advanced High Performance Computing system. CSO Ismail Cem Aslan talks about what he hopes Huawei's OceanStor storage system will bring for him.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mexico's Servitron's Impression of Huawei at CCW 2014

10|16|14   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Servitron is a network operator in Mexico that has been in the trunking industry for the past 20 years. Its COO, Ing. Ragnar Trillo O., explains at Critical Communications World 2014 that his company has been interested in the long-term evolution of LTE technology and its adoption for TETRA.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Better Dubai

10|16|14   |   2:06   |   (0) comments


Abdulla Ahmed Al Falasi is the director of commercial affairs, a telecommunications coordinator for the government of Dubai. Their areas of service span across multiple industries, including police, safety, shopping malls and more. In this video, Abdulla talks about his department's work with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Lights Up Malaysia Partner Maju Nusa

10|16|14   |   1:59   |   (0) comments


Malaysia's Maju Nusa is an enterprise partner to Huawei in networking, route switches and telco equipment. At this year's Critical Communications World in Singapore, CTO Pushpender Singh talks about what Huawei's eLTE solutions mean to his company and for Malaysia.
LRTV Custom TV
Evolving From HFC to FTTH Networks

10|15|14   |   2:19   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Todd McCrum delves into the future of cable's HFC plant, examining how DOCSIS 3.1 and advanced video compression will extend its life and how the IP video transition will usher in GPON and EPON over FTTH.
LRTV Custom TV
Exploring the Future of Cable Access

10|15|14   |   6:23   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Brett Wingo looks at where cable access architectures are heading, discussing the impact of DOCSIS 3.1, CCAP, Remote PHY, SDN, virtualization of cable networks and related technologies.
LRTV Custom TV
Optimizing & Monetizing WiFi

10|15|14   |   5:53   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Vince Pandolfi outlines the reasons for cable WiFi's rapid growth, lays out the issues with the technology and explains the new Cisco tools that can help operators monitor and improve their WiFi delivery.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Emulex & Huawei Collaboration Mutually Beneficial

10|14|14   |   4:17   |   (0) comments


US company Emulex collaborates with Huawei in areas such as blade servers and workload documentation. Mike Heumann of Emulex believes that Huawei has done incredibly well moving from a telecom company into servers and networks, working closely with customers to realize their needs.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Chile's VZION Looks Forward to Seeing More of Huawei

10|14|14   |   4:43   |   (0) comments


VZION is a systems integrator company in Chile with a focus on virtulization technology. In this video, Cesar Alcacibar talks about the challenges in virtualization and how Huawei helps his company to achieve the best results possible. Alcacibar is expecting more adoption and integration of Huawei technologies in Chile.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Pro-Datech & Huawei for a High-Tech Singapore

10|14|14   |   2:59   |   (0) comments


Pro-Datech Systems is a specialty IT solution provider based in Singapore. For an added value to its customers, the company uses Huawei's hardware and trusted performance and features for a total solution. It's looking forward to the creation of a lab, to be based in Singapore, for the two companies' coorporation on total storage solution.
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Forget the Internet, Brace for Skynet
Stephen Saunders, 10/15/2014
HBO Will Go OTT in 2015
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/15/2014
Google: Carriers & Cloud Providers Need to Cooperate
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/16/2014
CBS Takes OTT Plunge
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/16/2014
Could Data Be the New 'Currency'?
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 10/16/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed