Dell Goes to the Top-of-Rack with New S6000 Switch

by Sean Michael Kerner

Dell joins the lineup of vendors supporting VMware's NSX.

Dell is expanding its networking switch portfolio with the new S6000 top-of-rack switch that supports VMware's new NSX network virtualization technology.

A 1RU high-density switch, the S6000 offers support for up to 96 ports of 10 GbE or 32 ports of 40 GbE. In total, the top-of-rack switch can deliver up to 2.56 Tbps of switching bandwidth.

Arpit Joshipura, VP of product marketing at Dell Networking, explained to Enterprise Networking Planet that the S6000 uses fresh air cooling concepts borrowed from Dell's server technologies. The use of fresh air cooling, instead of fans and large heat sinks, allows for greater density inside of the S6000.

The integration with VMware NSX will now enable a virtual networking administrator with a view into the physical networking layer. Looking the other way, a network admin will now also have visibility and some control of the virtual switches connected into the physical top-of-rack switch.

"So now network admins and server admins can better collaborate," Joshipura said. The S6000 follows Dell Networking's S5000 switch launch in April. Joshipura explained that the S5000 is a switch that is positioned by Dell for converged top-of-rack deployments. As such, the S5000 has both LAN and SAN interfaces. He added that the S5000 delivers only half the throughput of the new S6000.

"If a server rack has 40 servers, including Fibre Channel over Ethernet, then it will make sense to put an S5000 there and then the S6000 will be on top as an aggregation layer," Joshipura said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

This article was originally published on Tuesday Aug 27th 2013