New Data Centers Need New Network Architectures


Dell Active Fabric is a modern data center network networking solution that takes advantage of today’s technology and provides an easily-scalable path for future growth.

Active Fabric provides a flat, fast, any-to-any multipath network architecture that is flexible and better suited for the growing amount of East-West traffic in today’s virtualized data centers and private clouds. Active Fabric solutions flatten the traditional data center network architecture using high-density and low-latency, fixed-form factor 10/40GbE switches that can be deployed quickly and easily while reaching to hyperscale proportions. 

According to Gartner, “Newer small form factor core devices can enable network managers to reduce capital costs by 30 percent to 70 percent, and save 30 percent or more on operations expenses, compared with chassis-based switches.”

SDN is a logical extension to the enhanced network flexibility Active Fabric provides. The software abstraction layer that SDN delivers promises to enable open programmability, making infrastructure more flexible and more adaptable to different customer environments.  Additionally, Dell is one of the only vendors to offer a complete and unbiased approach to SDN encompassing networking virtualization overlays (NVO), OpenFlow and legacy interface capabilities. ( Download Dell SDN whitepaper )

  • Active Fabric supports NVOs using the leading hypervisors from Microsoft, VMware and OpenStack.
  • Active Fabric supports Open Flow-based controllers from leading vendors including Big Switch Networks.
  • Active Fabric also supports legacy programmatic interfaces including Telnet/CLI, TCL, REST, SNMP, Perl and  Python scripting

Defining features of Dell Active Fabric include:

  • Purpose-built for virtualized, converged, and SDN environments
  • High-performance 10GbE & 40GbE L2/L3 multipath fabrics
  • LAN/SAN convergence using Data Center Bridging (iSCSI, Fibre Channel (FC) and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE)
  • OpenFlow support
  • Standard northbound and southbound interfaces

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