Tag Archives: 100GbE Switch

OpenFlow Switch: What Is It and How Does it Work?

FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInRedditTumblrShare

SDN (Software-Defined Networking) technology is generating huge interest in networking industry due to its ability to add higher agility and scalability for networks. At the core of the SDN technology is the OpenFlow protocol, and SDN with OpenFlow switch promises flexibility and fast configuration of communication networks. So what exactly is OpenFlow and OpenFlow switch? How does OpenFlow switch work to improve network agility and scalability? We try to explain it in detail and clear out the confusions.

What is OpenFlow and OpenFlow Switch?

OpenFlow is a programmable network protocol for SDN environment, which is used for communication between OpenFlow switches and controllers. OpenFlow separates the programming of network device from underlying hardware, and offers a standardized way of delivering a centralized, programmable network that can quickly adapt to changing network requirements.

openflow protocol

An OpenFlow switch is an OpenFlow-enabled data switch that communicates over OpenFlow channel to an external controller. It performs packet lookup and forwarding according to one or more flow tables and a group table. The OpenFlow switch communicates with the controller and the controller manages the switch via the OpenFlow switch protocol. OpenFlow switches are either based on the OpenFlow protocol or compatible with it.

what is openflow switch

How Does OpenFlow Switch Work?

An OpenFlow switch can only function with the collaborate work of three essential elements:  flow tables installed on switches, a controller and a proprietary OpenFlow protocol for the controller to talk securely with switches. Flow tables are set up on switches. Controllers talk to the switches via the OpenFlow protocol and impose policies on flows. The controller could set up paths through the network optimized for specific characteristics, such as speed, fewest number of hops or reduced latency.

OpenFlow Switch vs Conventional Switch: What’s the Difference?

In a conventional switch, packet forwarding (the data plane) and high-level routing (the control plane) occur on the same device. While for an OpenFlow switch, the data plane is decoupled from the control plane: with the data plane implemented in the switch itself but the control plane in software and a separate SDN controller makes high-level routing decisions. The switch and controller communicate by means of the OpenFlow protocol. OpenFlow switch hence boosts the following advantages:

  • With OpenFlow switch, the SDN controller could route non critical/bulk traffic on longer routes that are not fully utilized.
  • The SDN controller can easily implement load-balancing at high data rates by just directing different flows to different hosts, only doing the set-up of the initial flow’s.
  • Traffic can be isolated without the need for vlan’s, the SDN controller of OpenFlow switch can just refuse certain connections.
  • Setup a network TAP/Sniffer easily for any port or even specific traffic by programming the network to send a duplicate stream to a network monitoring device.
  • OpenFlow switch allows for the development of new services and ideas all in software on the SDN controller, as well to accelerate new features and services.

Why OpenSwitch Is the New Trend?

OpenFlow switch is designed to provide consistency in traffic management and engineering, by making control function independent of the hardware it’s intended to control. This combination of open source software and commodity hardware holds the potential for unprecedented efficiency and operational agility, which fitted well in the world where network becomes increasingly diverse and demanding. Enabling OpenFlow on physical switches and move to OpenFlow switch is something that most clients have been working toward. FS.COM switch product line consists of 10GbE switch, 40GbE switch and 100GbE switch that supports OpenFlow 1.3, which can be used as OpenFlow switches in open networking environment.

10G SDN Switch with L2/L3 ICOS, 48*10GbE ports + 6*40GbE ports
40G SDN Switch L2/L3 ICOS, 32*40GbE ports
100G L2/L3 Switch Loaded with ICOS, 48*25GbE ports +6*100GbE ports

Conclusion

OpenFlow switch addresses bottlenecks to high performance and scalability in SDN environments. Providing an efficient, vendor-independent approach to managing complex networks with dynamic demands, OpenFlow switch is likely to become commonplace in large carrier networks, cloud infrastructures, and other networks. FS.COM SDN OpenFlow switch has received great reputations from our customers, for more information, just reach us via sales@fs.com.

Dell 100GbE Switches: S6100-ON vs Z9100-ON

Whether you recognize it or not, 100GbE is right here, right now. As the industry’s first multi-rate 100GbE 1U Ethernet switch, Dell’s Z9100-ON sets a high standard for the competition to follow. Soon afterwards Dell launched 2U 100GbE switches S6100-ON. These two Dell 100GbE switches support for a wide range of port speeds allows early adopters to move to 25GbE now and upgrade to 40GbE, 50GbE or 100GbE when the price is right. Which one did you deploy now? And why did you make the choice?

Dell Z9100-ON 100GbE Switches
The Dell Networking Z9100-ON is a 100GbE top-of rack (ToR) fixed switch purpose-built for applications in high-performance data center and computing environments. Z9100-ON 100GbE switch has 32 fixed 100GbE QSFP28 ports and a couple of 10GbE SFP+ ports to one side. This also allows for up to 64 ports of 50GbE, 32 ports of 40GbE, 128 ports of 25GbE or 128+2 ports of 10GbE switching all within the same module. Dell has thoughtfully provided these to allow you to connect legacy servers or switches without wasting a 100GbE port.

Dell 100GbE Switch Z9100-ON
Dell S6100-ON 100GbE Switches
Dell Networking S6100-ON Multi-rate Fabric Switch is a customizable fixed form factor 100GbE switch with 4 bays and 3 unique modules. It allows customers to mix and match modules delivering greater flexibility and choice than anything on the market today for this technology.
1) 16 ports of 40GbE. With 4 of these modules, customers can have up to 64ports of 40GbE in just 2RU!
2) 8 ports of QSFP28. This allows for up to 8 ports of 100GbE, 16 ports of 40 or 50GbE, or 32 ports of 10 or 25GbE switching all within the same module.
3) 4 ports of QSFP28 and 4 ports of CXP. The CXP ports allow for interconnects with legacy 100GbE in customer’s existing data centers as well as 4 ports of the newer/lower cost QSFP28.

Dell 100GbE Switch S6100-ON

S6100-ON vs Z9100-ON
If you want to build 100G network, both S6100-ON and Z9100-ON 100GbE switches can meet your requirement. Z9100-ON has fixed 100G QSFP28 ports and 10G SFP+ ports, and S6100-ON has fixed 100G QSFP28 ports, 100G CXP ports and 40G QSFP28 ports. Therefore, compared to Z9100-ON 100GbE switch, S6100-ON seems has more flexibility. And the S6100-ON price is higher than Z9100-ON. You can choose the right one for your specific requirements. To better power up your Dell S6100-ON or Z9100-ON 100GbE switches, you may need some good quality but cost-effectiive 100G optics and cables. FS.COM (Fiberstore) provides Dell QSFP28-100G-SR4 transceivers at 400 dollars and QSFP-100G-CWDM4 transceivers at 1350 dollars. And all these two transceiver modules are in stock now for same-day shipping. Besides the optics, Dell 100GbE QSFP28 to QSFP28 cables and 4x25GbE QSFP28 to SFP28 cables are also offered in Fiberstore for your option.