Marvell unveils modular approach to 10GbE, 25GbE deployment in data center

Marvell debuted Monday its new Prestera PX Passive Intelligent Port Extender (PIPE) line, designed to reduce power consumption, complexity and cost in the data center. Until now, data centers with 10GbE and 25GbE port speeds have been challenged with achieving lower operating expense (OPEX) and capital expenditure (CAPEX) costs as their bandwidth needs increase.

As a purpose-built port extender supporting the IEEE 802.1BR standard, Marvell’s PIPE solution offers a revolutionary approach that makes it possible to deploy top of rack (ToR) switches at half the power and cost of a traditional Ethernet switch.

Offering a modular approach and an optimized solution to enabling a diversity of port densities and speeds, the 98PX1012 allows customers to easily adapt to various port speeds through multiple configurations. While existing solutions are designed with a generic switch device that is scaled down to a port extender device, the 98DX1012 is optimized in terms of power, cost and simplification to meet the port-extender requirements.

Conceptually, PIPE allows data centers to be architected with a very simple, low cost, low power port extender in place of the ToR switch, pushing the heavy switching functionality upstream. As the industry today transitions from 10GbE to 25GbE and from 40GbE to 100GbE port speeds, data centers are also in need of a modular building block to bridge the variety of current and next-generation port speeds.

Marvell’s PIPE family provides a flexible and scalable solution to simplify and accelerate such transitions, offering multiple configuration options of Ethernet connectivity for a range of port speeds and port densities.

Marvell has collaborated with the industry’s top original design manufacturers (ODMs) and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to provide Prestera PX-ready platforms for ToR switch applications. Samples and reference designs for Marvell’s Prestera PX family of solutions are currently available.

Through the implementation of the industry IEEE 802.1BR standard, and no per box management requirements, Marvell streamlines network development and simplifies the central management of hundreds of thousands of ports in the data center.

To ensure PIPE adoption is seamless and easy, the solution incorporates a programmable packet header editor making it interoperable with a variety of networking gear. Marvell’s PIPE solution integrates fast-fail-over and resiliency functionality, providing continuity and high availability to mission-critical applications.

“As silicon geometries move to 16nm and 7nm, the industry faces a critical challenge to provide further power and cost savings in new 10GbE and 25GbE deployments,” said Michael Zimmerman, vice president and general manager, Networking Group at Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. “Our Prestera PX family is a purpose-built portfolio of port extenders that attaches to high-density 100GbE switches, offering tremendous cost and power benefits. In addition, our PIPE solution doesn’t need application software, simplifying the network layers and offering massive savings in both CAPEX and OPEX.”

“Hewlett Packard Enterprise is excited to see the optimized networking technology solutions enabled by Marvell’s Prestera PIPE device which is built around the IEEE 802.1BR industry standard,” said Dom Wilde, vice president and general manager of HPE DC Networking (HP Enterprise). “HPE customers can definitely leverage these optimized products while taking advantage of the simplified operational management.”

“Marvell’s new Prestera PX family offers a new modular network solution for multi-stage network data center implementations,” said Yuval Bachar, principal architect at LinkedIn and technical leader at Open19. “Its cost-effective, scalable and modular approach creates an interesting implementation of ToR technology in the market by offering all the CAPEX and OPEX savings while leveraging industry standard 802.1BR to provide an open solution.”

“At Pegatron, we’re seeing an increasing demand for flexible solutions that support a variety of port speeds,” said Wangson Wang, BU6 engineering vice president of Pegatron. “Transitioning from 10 or 40GbE to 25, 50 and 100GbE has traditionally been a costly process requiring a complete revamp of the port configuration. With Marvell’s port extenders supporting the latest IEEE 802.1BR standard, we’re able to offer our customers an optimal solution at any speed and density for greater efficiency.”

“As the industry continues to shift towards higher density port speeds, we anticipate that the demand for flexible solutions like Marvell’s Prestera PX series will increase among networking equipment and data storage manufacturers,” said Seamus Crehan, president and founder of Crehan Research Inc. “Vendors across the industry are seeking solutions that allow them the freedom to select port speed and density based on the unique requirements of their data center.”

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