Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise Brings VXLAN to OmniSwitch

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Alcatel-Lucent today announced a new switch in its OmniSwitch product family. The OmniSwitch 6900-Q32 is a high density switching platform with support for up to 32-port 40GbE or up to 104 ports of 10GbE.

Joe Raccuglia, Sr. Director of Solutions Marketing, Networking at Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, explained to Enterprise Networking Planet that the 6900-Q32 is a new model in the existing OmniSwitch 6900 family.

The OmniSwitch 6900 product category has been one of Alcatel-Lucent’s primary switch brands in recent years. Back in 2011, the top end of the OmniSwitch family could support up to 64 ports of 10 GbE.

Raccuglia said that the OmniSwitch 6900-Q32 can be used as a high-density top-of-rack/end-of-row switch in data centers to support spine/leaf architecture. He added that the OmniSwitch 6900-Q32 is also very well suited for high density distribution or compact core in enterprise campus LAN networks.

“It increases the size of Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise (ALE) POD architecture from 240 10Gig ports to 480 10Gig ports as part of the ALE Data Center MESH architecture,” Raccuglia said.


The inclusion of hardware-based VXLAN capabilities is one of the big features that Alcatel-Lucent is promoting with the OmniSwitch 6900-Q32. VXLAN is typically deployed as a software overlay.

“OmniSwitch 6900-Q32 is the first switch which supports hardware-based VXLAN capabilities to provide a gateway between the physical and virtual network world,” Raccuglia said.

Raccuglia added that the VXLAN Overlay is supported across the OmniSwitch 6900 and OmniSwitch 10K platform and provides dynamic discovery of VXLAN and quality of service mapping in hardware, with technology dubbed Virtual Machine (VM) Snooping.

“With this technology, we can automatically identify virtual machines in both a physical or VXLAN environments, ” Raccuglia said. “Leveraging the Virtual Network Profile technology we introduced in 2011, we can provide full QoS, security and application priority for the virtual machines.”

Raccuglia explained that Alcatel-Lucent technology also eliminates the need for manual reconfiguration of the network. The technology recognizes the adds/moves/changes of VMs consistently across the physical or VXLAN environments and automatically reconfigures the networking parameters to support the updates.

As part of the OmniSwitch 6900-Q32 release, there is also a new firmware update across the OmniSwitch portfolio with the Alcatel-Lucent Operating System (AOS) 7.3.4 update. AOS has been based on Linux since 2010 and the AOS 7 update.

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

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