Facebook's 100 GbE Wedge Switch Makes Strides

Open Compute Project accepts speedy top-of-rack switch, which is available for purchase from Accton's Edgecore Networks.

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Facebook today said its second-generation top-of-rack switch, the Wedge 100, has been accepted into the Open Compute Project, a move the internet giant hopes will help other data centers adopt 100 Gigabit Ethernet.

Wedge 100 is a key component in Facebook's strategy to build its 100 GbE data centers, the company's engineers wrote in a blog post. "As the demands on our data centers keep growing, we are continuously pursuing ways to handle data more efficiently and at ever-faster speeds,"

While the OCP's acceptance of the Wedge 100 specification is hardly earthshattering news -- Facebook founded OCP after all -- what's more interesting is the fact that Taiwan-based Edgecore Networks, a subsidiary of Accton, is selling the switch. The Edgecore Wedge 100-32X ships with a three-year warranty, OpenBMC firmware, diagnostics, and the Open Network Install Environment NOS loader, Facebook said.

Moreover, a number of vendors are building products on top of the Wedge 100 platform, including Big Switch Networks and Canonical at the operating system level. SnapRoute, FRINX, and Apstra have developed software higher up the stack.

Facebook debuted its first Wedge switch two years ago. The company said it used what it learned from deploying the 40 GbE version of Wedge to create Wedge 100, which it's using in its production environments. Facebook runs the same FBOSS software with Wedge 100 as Wedge 40, but expanded it to support the new platform.

Facebook Wedge 100

Facebook Wedge 100.jpg

"At Facebook, we put an emphasis on building our data centers with fully open and disaggregated hardware designed by our engineers and open-sourced through the Open Compute Project," the engineers wrote in their blog. "By disaggregating our stack, we can replace hardware or software as soon as better technology becomes available. This approach has enabled impressive performance gains across the compute, storage, and networking layers."

OCP focuses on developing open designs for data center infrastructure components such as racks, servers, and storage. Networking was added to the OCP agenda in 2013.

In their detailed blog, Facebook engineers said the Wedge 100 chassis is designed for an industry-standard 19-inch rack. However, they designed a 21-inch rack adapter tray because the company's data centers use OCP Open Racks and engineers wanted to use Open Rack V2 Power Supply units through the 12V bus bar at the rear of the rack.

The blog includes a link to Wedge 100's design specifications.

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