Extreme ships 192-port 40G Ethernet switch

BlackDiamond X8 now generally available for data center core

Extreme Networks this week said its BlackDiamond X8 core switch is now generally available, nine months after announcement and four months after customer trials.

Extreme also unveiled software enhancements for its switches, including support for the OpenFlow API and protocol, and other software defined networking and network virtualization features.

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The BlackDiamond X8 features densities of 768 wire-speed 10G Ethernet ports and 192 40G Ethernet ports. Extreme says port-to-port latency on the switch is 2.3 microseconds, and each 10G port consumes 5.6 watts of power. It also supports 128,000 virtual machines.

Extreme claims the BlackDiamond X8 uses less than half the power and has three to 10 times the speed of other eight-slot data center switches, including those from Cisco and HP, and that a single rack of three BlackDiamond X8s can replace up to two to 18 racks of other network switches.

The BlackDiamond X8 was lab-tested by 10 companies in North America, Europe and Asia, including Elisa Links of Finland and Microsoft.

The Wellcome Sanger Trust Institute of United Kingdom was the first customer to purchase the BlackDiamond X8. Sanger Trust was the first research institution to map the human genome.

New software features in the ExtremeXOS 15.1 operating system support OpenFlow, SDNs and network virtualization. OpenFlow was developed at Stanford University and University of California, Berkeley, to make multivendor network hardware programmable through software on an external controller.

OpenFlow and other network virtualization technologies are intended to allow networks to scale, easily support new features and reduce network costs for data centers. The BlackDiamond X8 also supports the IEEE "VEPA" specification for coordinating tasks between physical and virtual switches; and its own XNV software for managing the life cycle of VMs.

For storage convergence, the BlackDiamond X8 supports iSCSI, the IEEE's Data Center Bridging standard and FCoE Transit, among others.

Extreme endorses the Multi-System Link Aggregation specification for data center fabric architectures.

The list price for a 10G port on the BlackDiamond X8 is $1,000, and $4,000 for a 40G port.

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