Special Coverage Series

Network Computing

Special Coverage Series


Dell Switch Supports VMware NSX

S6000 connects physical and virtual infrastructures; Citrix NetScaler works with NSX; Gigamon adds multi-tenant traffic visibility; Check Point updates software blade architecture.

Dell Networking launched its S6000 switch, which features support for VMware’s upcoming NSX network virtualization platform for VMware vCenter deployments. The switch, designed for virtualized data centers, is the latest in Dell's S-series portfolio.

The S6000 also supports OpenFlow for controller-based applications, as well as bare-metal provisioning for rapid and automated deployments, the company says. In addition, it supports Perl and Python scripting, as well as virtual server networking for automated VM mobility and VLAN configuration.

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Dell claims the fixed form factor of the 10/40-GbE switching platform doubles density and throughput while using up to 50% less power. The S6000 can be deployed as 32 40-GbE ports or 96 10-GbE ports plus eight 40-GbE ports in 1RU, while providing 2.56 Tbps of throughput, double that of the S5000, which Dell released in April. For energy efficiency, it uses fresh-air cooling technology already employed by Dell servers. The product is slated to be available in the third quarter of this year.

Bob Laliberte, senior analyst for Enterprise Strategy Group, says the S6000’s ability to integrate with VMware NSX and the physical network is significant because it allows for complete visibility. He says ESG sees visibility and management capabilities as being critical requirements for enterprises looking to virtualize networks; the integration with NSX provides a single, flat view into data center fabric design, configuration and monitoring workload mobility across an NSX virtual environment and Dell physical switches.

Dell is among 20 vendors working with VMware to integrate their technologies into NSX, which is expected to be available in the fourth quarter.

Laliberte says Dell has seen consistent growth in its network business quarter over quarter, with midmarket and small enterprises being the company’s “sweet spot.” Since acquiring Force10 two years ago, Dell Networking has incorporated the company’s high-end network capabilities into its own product line.

Citrix Integrates NetScaler With NSX

Citrix also unveiled a new product that integrates with VMware's NSX: NetScaler Control Center for VMware, which is designed to automate the deployment and configuration of NetScaler’s application delivery functionality within networks using NSX. The new Control Center allows administrators to programmatically insert NetScaler services into software-defined data centers built on VMware virtualization.

Citrix said the NSX integration and automation will make it easier for IT staff to use NetScaler to improve application performance. Other vendors working with VMware on NSX support include HP, Juniper, Fortinet and McAfee.

[Cisco was noticeably absent from the list of vendors touted by VMware at VMworld as working on NSX integrations. Read Cisco's explanation in "Cisco Skips VMware NSX Coming-Out Party."]

Citrix has not announced a release date, but says NetScaler Control Center for VMware will enable users to spin up NetScaler services in VMware-based cloud environments at the same time they are spinning up virtual servers and virtual storage. It uses the same infrastructure that integrates NetScaler with Citrix CloudPlatform, which is based on Apache CloudStack. Citrix announced the next-gen version of its NetScaler SDX last fall, emphasizing interoperability with commercial SDN controllers.

Gigamon Introduces “Visibility as a Service”

Gigamon added multi-tenant visibility capabilities to the latest version of its GigaVUE H Series software. Using an update to Gigamon’s Flow Mapping technology, Version 3.1 allows enterprises to virtualize the company’s architecture and provide “visibility as a service” to departmental tenants. These tenants can in turn monitor and change traffic visibility policies without affecting the policies of other departments or those of the entire organization.

Gigamon says its Visibility Fabric architecture is a different approach to traffic visibility in that it takes into account virtualization, cloud computing, mobility and big data. The company cites a report from Enterprise Strategy Group that highlights a number of challenges enterprises face that are driving them to seek new tools for improved traffic visibility: 48% of respondents in the ESG survey have tools that need too many connections ports, while 40% do not have enough mirror/SPAN ports for their tools.

Gigamon’s Flow Mapping technology is in each GigaVUE Visibility Fabric node and takes line-rate traffic at 1 Gb, 10 Gb, 40 Gb or 100 Gb from a network tap or a SPAN/mirror port, either physical or virtual, and sends it through a set of user-defined map rules to the tools and applications enterprises have in place to monitor and secure their IT infrastructure.

Gigamon's GigaVUE H Series software Version 3.1 will be available at the end of September.

Check Point Takes On Zero-Day Attacks

Check Point Software Technologies released Check Point R77, the latest version of its software blade architecture. R77 includes the company’s ThreatCloud Emulation Service, which was introduced on gateways in February and is now available as a hosted service. It prevents infections from zero-day exploits and targeted attacks by inspecting suspicious files and emulating how they run to discover malicious behavior.

Check Point R77 now also includes the company’s HyperSpect adaptive content inspection engine that includes hyper-threading technologies to improve computing performance, as well as the Compliance Software blade, Check Point’s next-gen firewall that also features compliance monitoring. Other updates to the R77 include new Central Device Management for managing and maintaining multiple security gateways, plus new provisioning capabilities in the SmartDashboard management console designed to reduce configuration errors.

The ThreatCloud Emulation Service will be available in September and is based on a global organizational quota, starting at a monthly list price of $500 for up to 10,000 files inspected per month.



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