HP Accelerates Switching with 6th Generation ASIC

New hardware helps to make Software Defined Networking faster.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Apr 27, 2015
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HP today announced its new 5400R zl2 Switch Series v3 Modules and a new SDN Network Visualizer application.

Michael Dickman, Global Product Line Management for Campus, Branch and Small Business, HP Networking, explained to Enterprise Networking Planet that the new products are the v3 blades for the 6 and 12 slot 5400R chassis, announced in June 2014.

"These new blades are designed to enable the high speed mobile campus with support for HP Smart Rate Multi-Gigabit ports, 40 GbE line rate ports," Dickman said.

Dickman added that the new modules are powered by the latest 6th generation of the HP Networking ASIC, which delivers fully flexible Openflow and is purpose built for multiple pipeline software-defined networking.

In contrast to the v2 modules, Dickman now that the new v3 modules have different switching capacities and throughput capabilities. A 5412R chassis fully loaded with v2 modules provides 1056Gbps of switching capacity and 785.7Mpps of throughput. A 5412R chassis fully loaded with v3 modules provides 1920 Gbps of switching capacity and 1142 Mbps of throughput. Dickman noted that total chassis switching capacity and throughput will depend on the combination of v2 and v3 modules loaded into the chassis.

The Smart Rate multi-gigabit ports will also support 2.5 Gbps and 5 Gbps speeds, which are not yet standardized. The NBASE-T Alliance got started on its 2.5 and 5 Gbps effort in October, while the competing MGBASE-T Alliance started in December.

Dickman commented that the 2.5 and 5 Gbps speeds are supported at launch and are pre-standard.

"However, HP Networking is leading the IEEE standards body during the standards formalization process and will adopt the evolution of this new standard," Dickman said. "Open standards is one of the primary tenets that support HP Networking's value proposition of network simplicity."

In addition to the new module, HP is launching its Network Visualizer tool for SDN. Dickman explained that Network Visualizer delivers dynamic traffic capture with real-time detailed network monitoring, allowing for fast network diagnosis and verification.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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