Ethernet Alliance plugs and prays so you don't have to, and other networking morsels

Microsoft software-defined data centre coming, NVMe-oF kit, play Mist for me and more

Microsoft has said it'll be bringing more "software-defined" capabilities to Windows Server in 2019.

It would have been easy to have missed it, though: Redmond didn't offer a product release, it buried the story at seventh place in a "top-10 networking features in Windows Server 2019" list, here.

Greg Cusanza and Schumann Ge of the Windows data centre networking team wrote that Windows Server 2019 will get a new deployment UI and a Windows Admin Center extension to support the server's SDN environment, and the enhancements will reach back to Windows Server 2016.

The SDN features, Cusanza wrote, form the basis for Win Server 2019's software-defined data centre (SDDC) capabilities, “providing software-based network functions such as virtual networking with switching, routing, firewalling with micro-segmentation, third-party appliances, and load balancing, all virtualised and highly optimised for availability and performance.”

Ethernet club speed-dating plug-and-pray

Next Monday, Ethernet vendors will hoist their kit over to the University of New Hampshire's InterOperability Laboratory, plug it all in, and hope nothing goes wrong.

The event is the Ethernet Alliance's plugfest, the semi-regular interop test, with a focus on products running from 25Gbps up to 400Gbps.

The alliance says (PDF) the plugfest will test physical layer transceivers, NICs, switches, test and measurement products, and media running at 25, 50, 100, 200 and 400 Gbps.

Broadcom, Mellanox accelerate NVMe-oF

This week's Flash Memory Summit in Santa Clara was the venue for two launches into the NVMe-over-fabrics (NVMe-oF) space, one from Broadcom, the other from Mellanox.

Broadcom's PS1100R adapter is based on the company's Stingray SoC, which integrates a NetXtreme 100 Gbps Ethernet NIC, eight ARMv8 Cortext-A72 cores running at 3 GHz, and hardware accelerators for crypto, RAID, data deduplication, and PCIe Gen 3.0.

The company said the card targets Just a Bunch of Flash (JBOF) and Fabric-attached Bunch of Flash (FBOF) appliance connectivity.

Mellanox's offerings use its BlueField SoC, based on 16 64 bit ARM cores, integrated with its ConnectX-5 network adapter, supporting offload of network functions like compression, encryption.

As well as Ethernet fabrics, the Mellanox adapters support InfiniBand storage environments.

NVMe-oF is something of a theme for 2018: vendors are pitching it as offering the same kind of performance as approaches like RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE), with a boring and familiar interface compatible with most of the 100 million ports that ship into data centres in a year. Last month, Solarflare and Lightbits touted NICs into the same space.

New line cards for Juniper SRX5000 kit

Juniper Networks reckons it's supercharging its SRX5000 services gateways with a range of line cards offering 11 times the performance of their predecessors “across a variety of key performance metrics”.

The SPC3 security acceleration card replaces SPC2 line cards, and is supported by the Gin Palace's SRX5400, 5600, and 5800 next-generation firewalls. Features include SSL decryption to defend against threats carried in encrypted traffic and large-scale VPN support.

Mist WLANs integrated with VeloCloud SD-WAN

Wireless outfit Mist has announced interoperability between its Learning WLAN products and VMWare's Velocloud NSX SD-WAN.

The company says the integration gives administrators visibility into user, application, and network performance out to the wide area, and provides AI-based automation of tasks like event corelation and anomaly detection.

The two platforms' open APIs facilitate data sharing between the systems and with other systems, providing a programmable platform admins can use to create custom workflows and other automated procedures. ®

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