The New Mellanox/Cumulus SN2100: A Revolutionary Approach to Top-of-Rack Switching

10 Gigabit Ethernet, Cloud Computing, Data Center, Ethernet, Storage, Switches, , , , , ,

Does your Data Center / Cloud run racks with 40 or more servers? Then you are probably paying more than you should for your network, and you are probably consuming too much real estate and power. With Mellanox’s SN2100 Top of Rack (ToR) switch you can change all that.

Web-scaled companies have created major shifts in data centers by migrating to modular solutions that are comprised of flexible, dense and economical building blocks. The latest addition to Mellanox’s Spectrum family is part of this wave with an amazing half-wide size switch carrying sixteen (16) QSFP28 ports of 10/25/40/50/100GbE.

For this collection of storage and cloud example environments, the SN2100 ToR, sets new standards for increased flexibility, efficiency and price performance. Price suggestions are taken off public listings for the customer to draw conclusions and drive the discussion.

Example 1: Popular 48+4 ports ToR configuration: SN2100 ToR, with split ports, spares thousands of dollars per rack in comparison to leading solution providers.

Why use port splits? SN2100 ports split into quad SFP28 ports with Mellanox LinkX® breakout cables. This configuration is connected up to 48 nodes, running at 10G/25G speeds, while having four (4) uplink ports of 40G/100G. Splitting ports means you bring Web Scale innovation and savings into your design as already adopted by hyperscalers with: 1) simpler cable administration 2) clear and tidy rack 3) 25 percent savings on cables.

Each breakout cable replaces four 10G DAC cables and saves $50. Total cable savings for a common highly available rack of 40+ node is more than $1,000. DAC breakout is commonplace in the data center with MTBFs reaching higher than 2,000 years so customers will never need to replace them again.

fig 1 SN2100Example 2: Storage / SDS / hyperconverged systems: Smaller compute and storage applications typically fill 3-4 rack units (RU). A half-wide SN2100 switch means it is uniquely packed so two adjacent switches mLAG’d (logically link aggregated) will fit in just one additional RU for the best IOPS/RU ratio and maximum Gbps/dollar performance.

A compact network can only occupy a fraction of the prevailing 48+4 ports switch. Why pay 3x for ports you don’t need? Why pay for fancy L3 licenses when state-of-the-art L2+L3 MLNX_OS caters for all your network needs? Conclusion: Two SN2100 switches mLAG’d will address an entire whole storage solution, no throwing away ports and rack space, and saving $30,000 on networking gear per appliance.

Example 3: Leaf and spine with 100G aggregation layer: The SN2100 ToR leverages 100G bandwidth in the aggregation layer to save money over prevailing 40G networks. Do the math as 100G means pipes are running 2.5x faster vs 40G. Fast pipes translate into fewer optical cables towards the spine, fewer spines and less rack space used overall. Fig 2 SN2100

A fast and reduced network efficiently saves thousands of dollars per rack in gear, and saves again in operative cost. The math is compelling for small 10G networks as much as it is for scaled spine and leaf architecture.

Other integrations ideas for the SN2100 are deployments outside the traditional confinements of brick and mortar buildings such as field or mobile data center operations.

Mellanox’s SN2100 Open Ethernet switch comes with two pre-configured ONIE-based Network Operating System (NOS) options: Cumulus Linux and MLNX-OS. Open-source standards and cloud management platforms help organizations to reduce vendor lock-in and are a viable option for software-defined data centers. Speed can be limited to 40G for an even better price.

Register now for the webinar on June 28 to do the math with the new breed of ToR that can efficiently cover your network flexibility and efficiency while reducing costs for your needs.


About Elad Wind

Elad Wind is currently Director of Technical Marketing and is a founding member of the Mellanox Singapore office where he promotes the adoption of Mellanox Ethernet Switching in Asia Pacific. Since 2010, Elad has served in various technical roles at Mellanox. Elad holds an MBA from Tel-Aviv University and ESSEC Business School Paris, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the Technion, Israel.

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