Data Center Storage
Image by Waleed Alzuhair via Flickr

– Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) is taking another key step in its mission to bring secure, reliable, high-performance cloud services to businesses by introducing a significant addition to the company’s enterprise portfolio that dramatically increases the data capacity, speed and performance of corporate data center networks. This new enhancement for the company’s widely deployed OmniSwitch™ 6900 enterprise network switch, lays the groundwork for enterprises to enjoy the same quality of experience with cloud services as with applications deployed in their own data centers.

Many enterprises are looking to the cloud to give them more flexibility and greater control over costs. Up to now, however, most enterprises have been reluctant to fully embrace cloud services due to concerns about the availability, security and performance of their mission-critical applications and data. Alcatel-Lucent new high-capacity 40 gigabit Ethernet (GigE) switching module for the OmniSwitch 6900, helps enterprises prepare their data center networks for an emerging category of services called the ‘carrier cloud,’ which offers lower latency, better control of bandwidth and the ability to provide a guaranteed quality of service.

This new module enables multiple switches to be linked together to form the 40 GigE Pod. The 40 GigE Pod introduces a variety of significant performance enhancements to enterprise data center networks including the establishment of exceptionally low latency, high-capacity links between servers. As importantly, the 40 GigE Pod dramatically increases the ability of enterprises to support a wide array of high-bandwidth services such as video, transfers of large files, real-time collaboration and business productivity tools and more within their own network.

This move represents a significant evolution of the company’s data center fabric, the Alcatel-Lucent Mesh, an award winning solution that brings together the best of the cloud with enterprise data center networks.

Zeus Kerravala, principal at Yankee Group said : “Enterprises need to be able to choose which applications they maintain in their own data center and which they can source from the cloud. As importantly, their data center fabric needs to be flexible enough to take advantage of all the capabilities of the cloud, while supporting seamless interactions between the cloud and applications hosted on their own network. Alcatel-Lucent is bringing a real-world practicality to data center fabrics, both in terms of affordability and scalability for enterprises both large and small. With this solution, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise provides a safe place to do business … whether it’s in the enterprise data center or the cloud.”

Building the Enterprise Cloud Ecosystem
Coupled with the launch of the 40 GigE Pod, the company has expanded its ‘Data Center Switching Partner’ ecosystem with companies including Emulex, NetApp and VMware, to make it easier for customers to deploy more affordable, best-of-breed data center solutions. This highlights the company’s commitment to open standards, by ensuring that Alcatel-Lucent’s equipment works smoothly and seamlessly with that of other industry leaders.

Shaun Walsh, vice president of marketing, Emulex said: “We are committed to helping our customers prepare their infrastructures for the future. This focus marries well with Alcatel-Lucent’s approach to its new Enterprise Data Center Switching Partner ecosystem. We are proud to be a charter member of the ecosystem program, which will give customers the confidence to deploy fully interoperable joint solutions.”

Contributions of Data Center Switching Partners

  • Integration testing is complete between Alcatel-Lucent’s OmniSwitch and Emulex’s 10 GigE network interface cards (NICs), ensuring low risk deployments of the Alcatel-Lucent Pod and Mesh with different servers.
  • Verification testing concerning the use of Alcatel-Lucent’s vNP for automated Virtual Machine (VM) movement with VMware’s vCenter has been completed and integration between Alcatel-Lucent’s OmniVista 2500 Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) and VMware’s hypervisor has been demonstrated for VMotion dashboard and provisioning.
  • A test bed is being developed combining the Mesh and NetApp storage arrays with Virtual Desktop Applications.
  • Alcatel-Lucent recently participated in an IEEE sponsored multi-vendor interoperability test of Shortest Path Bridging (SPB).
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