Flex System Interconnect Fabric

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Data centres (DC) are changing as the demands for data, storage and network connectivity grow. This growth is driven by cloud deployments, media applications, mobile connections, storage growth and greater network bandwidth demands. These new DC need the ability to increase bandwidth and bring up new services quickly to meet the demands of their clients without the complexity associated with traditional network architectures. Flex System™ Interconnect Fabric is designed to meet client needs by providing a simple Ethernet fabric cluster that accelerates deployment, simplifies management, supports dynamic scalability and increases reliability, availability and security in medium-to-large POD deployments.

Flex System Interconnect Fabric provides a DC architecture solution designed to offer greater efficiency and automation in network environments. The Flex System Interconnect Fabric offers a solid foundation of compute, network, storage and software resources in a Flex System POD. The solution components include; the RackSwitch™ G8264CS and Flex System SI4093 System Interconnect Modules for DC Ethernet and Fibre Channel (FC) network access and fabric interconnect. Clients can also leverage Switch Centre for easier network configuration and management, Flex System compute nodes and internal and external storage nodes for compute and storage resources capabilities and the Flex System chassis.

Solution features

Hardware summary

Feature Benefits
Accelerate deployment
Simplified management with higher availability
Dynamic scalability
Increased reliability
and security
Network architecture Transparent Layer 2 fabric; end-host connectivity
loop free and spanning tree-free design
Management Single point of management by primary ToR G8264CS
Availability Zero downtime; no maintenance window required for software upgrades
Resiliency Sub 400 microsecond (μs) Layer 2 failover,
Hotlink support
Converged fabric Multi-Hop Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) and FC uplink from PoD
Scalability Up to nine Flex System chassis, 252* compute nodes and 20 network devices (two G8264CS ToR switches and 18 SI4093 switches)
Virtualisation VMready, Unified Fabric Port (UFP) support
Multi-tenant support VLAN isolation, Q-in-Q
Traffic optimisation Local preference for unicast traffic
POD storage Supports internal Flex System V7000 or external storage
Solution components RackSwitch G8264CS–Learn more
IBM Flex System SI4093 Interconnect Module–Learn more
IBM Switch Centre–Learn more

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