Oracle Debuts Switches, Aims to Bridge Ethernet and InfiniBand

Oracle's SDN efforts move into the hardware realm with new switches.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Mar 2, 2015
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Oracle is perhaps best known for its software businesses, which include the Oracle database and Java middleware. On the server hardware front, Oracle has been growing its Engineered Systems business, providing converged computing systems. Now Oracle is pushing forward on it own networking efforts with the debut of the Oracle Ethernet Switch ES2-72 and Oracle Ethernet Switch ES2-64.

SK Vinod, senior director of product management for Netra Systems & Networking at Oracle, told Enterprise Networking Planet that the new switches were built and developed by Oracle.

"They’re optimized for the Oracle stack, including Oracle engineered systems, servers and storage, but can be used with any Ethernet fabric," Vinod said.

The ES2-72 is a 1U switch that has up to 72 x 10 GbE or 18 x 40 GbE ports, delivering up to 1.44 Tbps of bandwidth. The ES2-64 iS also a 1U switch with up to 24x 10 GbE or 6x 40 GbE QSFP+ ports and 40x 10 GBase-T ports, delivering up to 1.28 Tbps of bandwidth. Both switches include support for the VXLAN virtualization overlay protocol.

The ES2-72 and ES2-64 are available as part of Oracle's Netra modular system, a platform focused on Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) enablement. The new switches are also sold separately.


Oracle's engineered systems have long leveraged the InfiniBand protocol for high-speed, low-latency networking inside the systems. As part of the new networking push, Oracle is advancing its vision of support for both InfiniBand and Ethernet by way of the Oracle Fabric Manager and Virtual Networking Services (VNS).

"The whole idea here is about how data is handled and bridged between the two fabrics," Vinod said.

Oracle's SDN can enable up to 80 Gbps server-to-server bandwidth, and the fabric can connect up to 1,000 servers and 16,000 private virtual interconnects. The management interface and the fabric can now provision and manage both InfiniBand and Ethernet fabrics. Vinod noted that Oracle has InfiniBand in its engineered systems and in other implementations, and Ethernet is generally deployed across most data centers.

"Now, with VNS, we have the ability to bridge services between the two fabrics," Vinod said.

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

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