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Force10 unveils virtualization framework

By , Network World
February 11, 2009 01:38 PM ET

Network World - Force10 Networks this week unveiled a blueprint for easing the management of virtualized data centers.

The framework includes a suite of terabit-enabled network virtualization and management software as well as "enhanced architectural design elements," Force10 says. Overall, the company's Virtualization Framework is intended to allow network and data center managers to troubleshoot and benchmark network and application performance in virtualized environments using standards-based data center automation and orchestration technology.

The framework includes use of real-time network traffic analysis, management and architectural tools such as Force10's VirtualControl, VirtualScale and VirtualView software. VirtualControl partitions physical network assets to virtualize logical boundaries, allowing one device – such as a switch or router – to act as many devices.

VirtualScale enables network managers to consolidate physical network fabrics into a virtualized fabric. And VirtualView allows administrators to see what is happening on the network, and to automate network responses according to resource needs and demands, Force10 says.

VirtualControl and VirtualScale contain features for Layer-2 and Layer-3 environments that help eliminate the need for spanning tree protocols, build resiliency into the network and ensure that traffic for specific applications can be segmented to increase manageability, Force10 says.

VirtualView provides both real-time traffic monitoring using sFlow, and provides orchestration policies accessible through a command line interface, SNMP and XML-based commands and control provisioning middleware in the future, the company says.

Orchestration tasks include automatically powering down underutilized resources; policies driven by business process or time of day; and resource pool definition and reallocation through dynamic assignment of virtual LANs.

Force10 has a partnership with software developer Cassatt for the orchestration aspect of Virtualization Framework.

All applications run under Force10's FTOS operating system and are available now. Certain features to fill out the framework, however, will be added in the future, Force10 says.

Read more about data center in Network World's Data Center section.

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