Pluribus goes big to support larger, multi-vendor data center networks

Adaptive Cloud Fabric from Pluribus can now support up to 1,024 switches in a unified fabric.

Two figures within a data center / server maze, strewn with clouds.
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Pluribus has fine-tuned its switch fabric software to support larger, distributed multi-vendor data centers. Specifically, the company has enabled its Adaptive Cloud Fabric to scale from its current level of support for 64 nodes to up to 1,024 switches in a unified fabric. 

The scale-up is part of the company's recently upgraded core network operating system, Netvisor One, which is a virtualized Linux-based NOS that provides Layer 2 and Layer 3 networking and distributed fabric intelligence. The NOS virtualizes switch hardware and implements the company's Adaptive Cloud Fabric. Adaptive Cloud Fabric operates without a controller and can be deployed across a single data center, or targeted to specific racks, pods, server farms or hyperconverged infrastructures, the company said.

In addition, multiple geographically distributed data centers can be interconnected into a fabric over any WAN or dark-fiber network to optimize performance and resource availability without special protocols or reengineering, according to Pluribus. Ultimately, a single Netvisor ONE instance can control multiple Pluribus-based networks and distribute policies across those environments, the company stated.  

Along with increased switched support, the company will expand the Adaptive Cloud Fabric in a future release of Netvisor ONE to support third-party implementations of Border Gateway Protocol/Ethernet VPN (EVPN), allowing Pluribus customers to expand and integrate connectivity options to other networked resources hosted by Cisco, Arista, Juniper and other vendors who support EVPN implementations. 

EVPN support, which is slated for the first quarter of 2021, could also be used to link multiple Pluribus fabrics, as well for customers that need to support different application availability zones or separate geographical or operational locations, said Jay Gill, senior director of marketing at Pluribus.

Supporting larger and more distributed private data-center nodes is the key driver behind the new features, Gill said. 

"Private clouds are the multi-cloud anchors of the data center with analysts telling us that 75% of workloads will remain in private clouds rather than migrating to public clouds," Gill said. "Private clouds are also growing in scale and becoming more distributed with expansion of multi-site data centers and edge computing. These trends lead to a challenge for data center network fabrics: how to build a distributed multi-site data center fabric that can scale up in core data centers and out to edge data centers."

Extending the Adaptive Cloud Fabric will help the customer that's making a commitment to operating data centers locally or on the edge and wants to increase capacity rather than move everything to a public cloud, Gill said.

The new extensions can be managed by the company's overarching UNUM management package, which lets customers control provisioning and configuration functions such as creating VLANs, adding ports, creating trunks or managing routes. UNUM includes Insight Analytics, a real-time analytics and performance management module that collects and stores telemetry from the fabric and lets customers view traffic flow patterns and collect in-application performance and network troubleshooting information.

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