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Dell adds 10GBase-T and OpenFlow to datacentre switches

07 Feb 2013
Stacks in a datacentre

Dell has expanded its datacentre network line-up with a new switch offering 10Gbit/s twisted pair connectivity, while adding the OpenFlow protocol to the operating system in its Force 10 switches to provide support for software defined networking (SDN).

Available now in the UK and other European countries, the Dell S4820T is a top-of-rack switch with 48 ports supporting the 10GBase-T standard, which enables 10Gbit/s Ethernet over copper cabling instead of costly optical fibre and will help firms migrate from 1Gbit/s kit, Dell said.

The S4820T is also ideal for customers aiming to consolidate LAN and SAN traffic, according to Dell, as it is one of the first switches in the industry to support Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) using 10GBase-T.

Pricing for the Dell S4820T starts at €21,705.

Meanwhile, Dell announced commercial availability of OpenFlow support in the Force10 operating system (FTOS) that powers its datacentre switch line.

The OpenFlow protocol is an open standard that enables routing and other switch behaviour to be controlled from a central management server, enabling greater flexibility in large datacentre infrastructure.

The update is available now for Dell's Z9000 and S4810 datacentre switches, and is compatible with standards-based OpenFlow controllers such as the Big Switch Controller from Big Switch Networks, a Dell partner.

"We see networking as a key enabler in helping enterprise customers move to next-generation, 10 and 40G solutions in application-aware, converged, virtualised and hybrid cloud environments," said Tom Burns, vice president and general manager for Dell Networking.

OpenFlow support is likely to be expanded to other Force 10 switches following the upcoming FTOS release 9.1, due at the end of February, Dell said.

The announcements come in a busy week for Dell which confirmed on Tuesday that it had signed a deal to take itself private for $24bn.

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Daniel Robinson

Daniel Robinson is technology editor at V3, and has been working as a technology journalist for over two decades. Dan has served on a number of publications including PC Direct and enterprise news publication IT Week. Areas of coverage include desktops, laptops, smartphones, enterprise mobility, storage, networks, servers, microprocessors, virtualisation and cloud computing.

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