Special Coverage Series

Network Computing

Special Coverage Series


Schneider Electric Unveils Prefab Data Centers

Fifteen modules include integrated IT, power, cooling; EnGenius adds three PoE Smart Switches; Midokura supports latest OpenStack releases; Infoblox adds FireEye.

Schneider Electric introduced 15 customizable prefabricated data center modules ranging in capacities from 90kW to 1.2MW that provide IT, power and/or cooling along with the company’s StruxureWare Data Center Infrastructure Management software.

The company also released 14 new prefabricated data center reference designs, which Schneider says outline complete data centers that scale in 250kW to 2MW increments and meet the Tier II and Tier III standards established by the Uptime Institute. Schneider now offers a total of 36 prefabricated data center reference designs.

451 Research defines prefabricated modular data center designs as those that create capacity--including space, power and cooling--while reducing or eliminating on-site construction. A phased or module build using traditional on-site construction would not qualify. Vendors tout prefabricated modular data centers as substantially cheaper, quickly deployed in a few months, reliable and more energy efficient.

Schneider joins vendors such as Dell, SGI and HP in offering prefabricated data centers. HP launched its prefabricated Flexible Data Center in 2010. Shaped like a butterfly, it includes a central administrative area and up to four data halls. Dell Modular Data Centers are modules that come with IT, cooling and power can be snapped together so customers can incrementally add capacity.

Schneider says its prefabricated modules can be delivered on-site, preconfigured and pretested for installation, with a lead time of 12 to16 weeks. On-site construction and deployment time is reduced because the site preparation and module production is done concurrently.

EnGenius Launches New Gigabit PoE Smart Switches

EnGenius Technologies’ latest line of Gigabit Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) Smart Switches are designed to support organizations deploying PoE-capable devices, including the company’s own wireless access points, bridges and IP cameras.

All three switches support the IEEE 802.3af protocol for PoE and include features such as port trunking, port mirroring, 802.1Q VLAN, port-based VLAN, and cable diagnostics. Each of the new Smart Switches include eight gigabit ports to support media streaming and large file transfers throughout the network with data speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps, making them suitable for bandwidth-sensitive applications such as videoconferencing and surveillance, the company says.

The EnGenius EGS5110P is a 1U rack-mountable switch with a total PoE budget of 130 watts; each port can provide up to 30 watts. It is designed to connect and supply power to PoE-capable devices such as IP cameras, IP phones and wireless access points.

The EGS2108P and the EGS2110P are best suited for supporting deployment of EnGenius’ existing portfolio of PoE-capable indoor access points and bridges, the company says. The EGS2108P features four IEEE 802.3af PoE ports that each provides up to 15.4 watts for a total PoE budget of 61.6 watts. The EGS2110P, which features eight IEEE 802.3af PoE ports that can each supply up to 15.4 watts with a total PoE budget of 61.6W, also has two SFP ports to support transceivers for fiber cabling between offices or buildings.

Midokura Extends OpenStack Support

Software-defined networking startup Midokura added integration and full support for OpenStack Grizzly and Havana releases to its updated MidoNet distributed, multilayer network virtualization platform. First released last fall, MidoNet specifically targets Infrastructure-as- a-Service deployments.

The updated MidoNet provides Layer 2 gateway integration, which the company says allows network engineers to connect bare-metal servers to the overlay network. The platform also now supports dynamic routing with Layer 3 gateway functionality. Midokura also released new management tools and an enhanced command line interface.

[Read what an Interop New York panel had to say about the opportunities and challenges SDN and network virtualization present to network engineers, architects and administrators in "Will SDN Make Me Homeless?"]

OpenStack Grizzly--the seventh release of the open source software for building public, private, and hybrid clouds--came out in April, while Havana, the most recent version, was released last month.

Infoblox Integrates FireEye

Infoblox is adding the ability to detect advanced persistent threats (APTs) to its Infoblox DNS Firewall via integration of FireEye's threat prevention technology.

The Infoblox DNS Firewall, launched earlier this year, will make use of the capabilities in FireEye’s NX Series, which uses a virtual analysis environment to detect Web-based attacks. Infoblox DNS Firewall uses a threat information subscription service to stay updated on malware other than APTs, leveraging the DNS to block communication to known malicious destinations.

APTs are becoming more common and more sophisticated, according to InformationWeek Reports: The Changing Face of APTs, and tracking down groups that create APTs is difficult. Even less-skilled attackers may successfully penetrate the defenses of most firms they target using off-the-shelf attacks and techniques such as Poison Ivy and the Black Hole exploit kit, the report notes.



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