Data centers today demand highly virtualized, converged and scalable infrastructure. Multi-tenancy and cloud computing are driving the need for simplicity and cost efficiency from the network fabric, along with a need for expandability, high performance and service up time. Extreme Networks Open Fabric solution, led by its flagship BlackDiamond® X8 platform, provides seamless any-to-any connectivity through a simple, scalable, and centrally orchestrated network.
Designed for the cloud-scale requirements of Data Centers, High Performance Computing (HPC), and Internet Exchange Points (IXP), the BlackDiamond X8 provides a low-latency, high performance switch fabric with high-density wire-speed 10GbE, 40GbE and 100GbE connectivity for edge-to-core applications, all in a compact footprint using only one-third of a standard rack. As a ‘fabric-in-a-box’ solution, the BlackDiamond X8 eliminates expensive multi-tier architectures and the challenges of inter-device connectivity, uplink bandwidth, and latency. The BlackDiamond X8 also leverages a low-power design ideal for green operations and high degrees of energy efficiency, resulting in lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).
Key Features | Benefits
The BlackDiamond X8 provides 20.48Tbps total switching capacity for traffic growth while supporting 384 1GbE / 768 10GbE / 192 40GbE, or 32 100GbE wire-speed ports in a single chassis. This translates into 1,152 1GbE / 2,304 10GbE / 576 40GbE, or 96 100GbE ports in a single rack or any combination of those. The BlackDiamond X8 design leverages an orthogonal direct mating system between the interface and switch fabric modules, eliminating the performance bottleneck of backplane or mid-plane designs. The BlackDiamond X8 offers up to 1.28Tbps capacity per slot with current switch fabric modules, with an architecture supporting higher capacity switch fabric modules in the future.
High Scale Enterprise Routing
The BlackDiamond X8 supports two types of interface modules: one for high-density, low-latency moderate-scale edge applications, and the other for the high-scale core or border applications. By supporting up to one million Layer 2/Layer 3 entries on its 40GbE and 100GbE XL-series interface modules (future availability), the BlackDiamond X8 eliminates the need for high cost traditional routers in the data center core. The XL and non-XL modules can be deployed together within the same core switch without impacting one another - not only collapsing tiers to simplify the network, but also reducing build-out and maintenance costs.
XL-series modules can also be deployed for the high-scale edge applications where a large number of host routes or access control lists (ACL) are typically required, such as hosted data centers. The 40GbE module can also be used to break down the 40G ports into 10GbE ports for high-density, high-scale edge connectivity.
High-Density, High-Scale Server Virtualization
The BlackDiamond X8, powered by the ExtremeXOS® modular operating system, provides a scalable foundation for virtualized applications. By connecting up to 1 million Virtual Machines (VMs) per system, spread across as many as 768 physically connected servers per chassis, the BlackDiamond X8 enables a highly virtualized infrastructure. ExtremeXOS runs on a high-performance control plane and helps simplify network deployment and operation through VM-ready capabilities such as ExtremeXOS Network Virtualization (XNV™) and Extreme Networks Direct Attach™. XNV allows auto-configuration of Virtual Port Profiles (VPP) to automatically detect and provision network policies in a virtualized data center in a hypervisor agnostic manner, providing simplicity in managing VM mobility in data-centers. If a VM is moved from one physical server to the other, associated port policies on the connecting switch port are automatically moved. Direct Attach™ eliminates the virtual switch layer, simplifying the network and improving performance.
Several other virtualization features, such as Multi-Chassis Link Aggregation (M-LAG), Port Isolation and Transparent Interconnection of Lots of Links (TRILL) (future availability), enable the design of flatter network fabrics for large scale virtualized and multi-tenant data centers, eliminating the need for dedicated networks and the complex Spanning Tree Protocol (STP).
Reliable Delivery of Converged Storage Traffic
The BlackDiamond X8 is an optimal solution for high-throughput storage applications, synchronous replication, and disaster recovery within data center and HPC environments. The BlackDiamond X8 supports IEEE Data Center Bridging (DCBx) for reliable delivery of IP storage (iSCSI, NFS, CIFS) traffic over a single converged network. With IEEE compliant lossless Ethernet implementation of Priority Flow Control (PFC) and Enhanced Transmission Selection (ETS), storage traffic can be prioritized, queued and bandwidth guaranteed.
The BlackDiamond X8 also supports transit Fiber Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) for carrying converged fiber channel storage traffic. In converged networks, TRILL enables the building of flat and efficient networks for storage traffic while eliminating complications resulting from STP. With BlackDiamond X8, storage nodes can be connected using wire-speed 10GbE or 40GbE to provide a highly reliable yet flexible and cost-effective network to provision reliable storage services.
Low Latency for Faster Response Time
For low-latency applications such as High Performance Computing (HPC) or High Frequency Trading (HFT), the BlackDiamond X8 provides only 2.3 microsecond port-to-port latency with a single-tier “fabric in a box” design, and only 3.9 microsecond latency with a two-tier “open fabric” architecture using Extreme Networks Summit® X670 series Top-of-Rack switch with the BlackDiamond X8.
With the growth of mobile devices, an increasing number of applications are hosted in data centers, resulting in increased east-west and north-south traffic. Though total latency is a result of the compute, storage and transmission latencies, the BlackDiamond X8 can deliver the benefits of lower network latency to improve customer experiences and overall response time.
Orchestration through Software Defined Networking
Software Defined Networking (SDN) is revolutionizing the way networks are designed and operated. SDN helps in virtualization, visibility, optimization and orchestration for better handling of the network, compute and storage from a single and granular command and control perspective. The BlackDiamond X8 supports standards-based Open Flow to work with third party SDN controllers and provides a complete SDN solution. The BlackDiamond X8 enables SDN by providing a programmable control path and a scalable fabric that can be programmed in an efficient manner. Additionally, the BlackDiamond X8 supports the Open Stack plugin for a cloud-based open operating system.
The BlackDiamond X8 can be leveraged in hybrid networks for simultaneous SDN and non-SDN based deployments. Off-the-shelf or home-grown SDN based applications can be used for network control, traffic engineering, quality of service, SLA management, monitoring, analytics, virtualization and other advanced implementations.
Inter-Data Center Connectivity
The BlackDiamond X8 is designed with combined data center core and border connectivity in mind. For this reason, the BlackDiamond X8 XL-series 40GbE (which also can be used as 10GbE) and 100GbE XL modules offer more capacity to store large scale internet routing tables and MPLS entries, eliminating the need for expensive routers. The BlackDiamond X8 can provide VM mobility between the data centers using MPLS Virtual Private LAN System (VPLS), L2 Generic Routing Encapsulation (L2 GRE) (future availability) and Virtual Extensible LAN (VXLAN) (future availability). The BlackDiamond X8 can support up to 80Km distance using regular or DWDM optics, which can eliminate the need for expensive optical equipment.
High Availability for Service Assurance
Today’s mission critical data centers cannot afford service blackouts and upset customers. The BlackDiamond X8 prevents any single point of failure at the hardware level through isolated control and data planes, fully redundant 1+1 management modules, N+1 redundant switching fabric, and N+1 redundant fans. For the power system, the BlackDiamond X8 offers N+1 power supply level and N+N power grid level redundancy. At the software level, modular ExtremeXOS software increases network availability by monitoring independent processes in real time. If any of these processes become unresponsive or stop running they can be automatically restarted without impacting other processes. The BlackDiamond X8 supports a set of high availability features, including In-Service Software Upgrade (ISSU) (future availability), Multi-Chassis Link Aggregation (M-LAG) and Ethernet Automatic Protection Switching (EAPS), allowing the network to provide uninterrupted connectivity in the event of a failure, delivering a high level of resiliency and uptime.
Lower Operating Costs, Better Business Margins
The BlackDiamond X8 is designed for power cooling and space efficiency. Power consumption as low as 5.6 Watts per 10GbE port is enabled through an obstruction-less orthogonal design, and variable speed fans that assist in lower heat dissipation and more efficient use of data center cooling resources. This results in lower utility bills to operate the network. The very high density design of the BlackDiamond reduces space and rack requirements, providing fast return on investment per RU. The BlackDiamond X8 also supports CLI migration utilities to reduce the learning curve of technical personnel and save cost. Overall, the BlackDiamond X8 results in lower TCO compared to other switches in its class.
Technical Specifications **
High Performance Switching
- 20+ Tbps Switching Capacity
- 2.56 Tbps Bandwidth per Slot
- 192 x 40 GbE or 768 x 10 GbE or 32 x 100 GbE
High Availability Design
- N+1 Switching, Power and Fan Redundancy
- N+N Power GRID Redundancy
- 2.3 µsec
High Density Design
- 14.5 RU (1/3 Rack )
- 128K Virtual Machines
- Virtual Port Profile (VPP) Support
- Virtual Machine Lifecycle Management with XNV
- NFS, CIFS, iSCSI, FCoE
- 5.6W per 10 GbE port
- Pure Front-to-Back Cooling
- Intelligent Power Management
- Variable Speed fans