Nortel VSP 9000 Supports 240 Ports of 10Gbps

by Sonal Desai    Jul 15, 2009

Nortel recently launched its next-generation switch for mission-critical core networks, high-end data centers and multi-tenant provider networks - the Virtual Services Platform (VSP) 9000.

"Launched last quarter, the VSP 9000, with support for 27 terabits per second (Tbps) of switching capacity in a single chassis and 970Mpps of forwarding throughput initially, is architected capable of supporting futuristic 40Gbps and 100Gbps interfaces. The architecture of the VSP 9000 has been designed to provide better resiliency and performance that customers have started to demand for us," said Edgar Dias ,Asia Leader - Enterprise Data Networks.

VSP 9000 will compete head to head with Cisco s Nexus 7000. "But the competitor’s offerings are still based on 20-year old Spanning Tree Protocol (STP), which results in downtime when there’s a link, module or entire switch failure. VSP 9000 supports switch clustering technology - Split Multi Link Trunking (SMLT) which ensures that network traffic is load-balanced across two physical switches Active-Active."

According to Dias, customers setting up large campus networks are looking at providing multiple 10Gbps bandwidth on their backbone. On our existing flagship Ethernet Routing Switch 8600, we can support up to 96 ports of 10Gbps on one switch, which is sufficient for now. However, with customers deploying virtualization on their computing platforms, there is an increasing requirement for higher I/O from virtualized servers, which is driving the adoption of 10Gbps to servers. With most of today’s mid-range servers supporting 10Gbps links, we foresee that in the near-term future there would be increasing number of 10Gbps ports required in an enterprise."

VSP 9000, which complements the existing ERS 8600 and ERS 8300, is positioned for these high-end, high-density 10Gbps network environments and is ideally suited through the support of 24 ports of 10 gig per module, thus capable of up to 240 ports of 10Gbps per switch.

"Another area that we are investing in a very big way is on wireless LAN. Enterprises are looking to provide seamless integration of wired and wireless network elements so as to facilitate wireless users to access today’s business, IP Telephony and converged multimedia applications with Ethernet-like speeds. The latest 802.11n standard is the solution to providing increased data throughput speeds as well as increased range as compared to a/b/g networks. Nortel’s WLAN 8100 series incorporates an innovative design called as Split-plane architecture; which separates management, control and data forwarding onto separate appliances," said Dias.

By being able to separate the data plane from the control plane, it is possible to scale each of them independently based on customer needs. By moving the data plane onto Nortel’s wire-speed core/edge switches, the WLAN 8100 can provide unmatched scalability, efficiency and performance. This contrasts with the traditional competitive solution which is controller based and which maxes out once traffic reaches a certain threshold.