Dell EMC Takes Open Networking To The Edge For Next-Generation Access

New platform family and software bundles enhance SD-WAN to speed Digital Transformation and expand opportunities for service providers, enterprises

  • Launches Virtual Edge Platform family, future-ready and purpose-built universal Customer Premise Equipment for virtual networking and software-defined environments
  • First-to-market with SD-WAN solution using the newly-released Intel® Xeon® D-2100 processor
  • Validated, tested solutions with Silver Peak, VeloCloud and Versa software simplify and accelerate deployments

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Dell EMCintroduces itsVirtual Edge Platform(VEP) family, the first-to-market software-defined wide area network solution (SD-WAN) with the new Intel® Xeon® D-2100 processor, to help speed digital transformation by connecting the enterprise edge to the cloud via universal Customer Premise Equipment (uCPE). The new virtualized solutions will enhance or displace expensive fixed-function access hardware.

As a leading use case, the Dell EMC VEP provides next-generation access to the network via SD-WAN. By enhancing WAN operations and economics, service providers and enterprise customers can drive growth, strengthen competitive differentiation and improve the end-user experience.

“There is a real need among service providers and enterprises to update network operations to address distributed and cloud-based applications and capitalize on changing economics enabled by cloud models,” saidTom Burns, senior vice president, Networking & Service Provider Solutions. “By infusing Open Networking into access networks to the cloud with the Virtual Edge Platform family, Dell EMC can help customers modernize infrastructure and transform operations while automating service delivery and processes.”

To control costs, reduce complexity and enable scalability for growth, many service providers and enterprises are modernizing infrastructure, not only in the data center, but out to the network edge, including branch offices. Using software-defined architecture, Open Networking and virtualization to improve network access, organizations can accelerate their digital transformation goals to take advantage of new market opportunities more quickly, flexibly and efficiently.

Dell EMC VEP4600 – Bringing Open Networking to the enterprise edge

Built with advanced intelligence for network virtualization and software-defined architecture, the Dell EMC VEP4600 provides an open Intel® architecture-based platform to support multiple simultaneous virtual network functions (VNF). Numerous proprietary physical devices can be consolidated into this single uCPE while maintaining the high performance levels needed to host many. The modular design includes room to grow with front panel expandability so the platform can be easily upgraded or serviced in the field as needed.

The VEP 4600 is powered by the new Intel Xeon D-2100 product family, Intel® QuickAssist Technology (Intel® QAT), and Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK). These features help optimize compute resources and provide efficiency for growing security workloads.

The Intel Xeon D-2100 product family’s performance, power and form factor have been tuned for higher performance-per-watt for SD-WAN and uCPE. It delivers  more than 1.5x faster CPU performance1, up to 2x improvement in packet processing, 2x memory bandwidth and up to 4x memory capacity2. These processors enable complex packet processing and other scale-out workloads with responsiveness and low latency.

The cost- and power-efficient Dell EMC VEP4600 expands upon Dell EMC’sOpen Networkinginitiative that offers customers choice and the ability to protect their investment. The Dell EMC VEP platform provides the performance, programmability and time-to-delivery to rapidly adapt new service requirements such as routing, firewalling and deep-packet inspection. These additional VNFs can be added to the VEP by customers and/or Dell EMC in the future if needed.

For large operators and enterprises with multiple locations, Dell EMC can help smooth procurement, deployment and support through its global manufacturing scale, logistics and services with a single point of contact and accountability.

Accelerating SD-WAN adoption with validated solutions

To help service providers speed time to market and enterprises simplify deployments, Dell EMC offersthree validated solutionsusing the VEP4600. These solutions provide turnkey SD-WAN capabilities with pre-validated and pre-integrated configurations combining Dell EMC infrastructure and support services with industry-leading SD-WAN software fromSilver Peak Systems,VeloCloud NetworksandVersa Networks. Architected and tested to Dell EMC standards, these offerings enable customers to quickly deploy cost effective SD-WAN solutions or managed services.

Quotes

“As network traffic continues to increase, optimized service delivery is required to meet the demands of a broad range of use cases at the network edge,” saidSandra Rivera, senior vice president and general manager, Network Platforms Group, Intel. “A programmable and power efficient system-on-a-chip processor is needed to deliver the performance that users and devices require for edge applications. Using the Intel® Xeon® D-2100 system-on-a-chip in the Dell EMC Virtual Edge Platform provides flexible and power-efficient network edge solutions with high-performance compute and intelligence.”

“In our research, we’re seeing more enterprise customers considering network disaggregation as a more flexible approach to building networks, similar to what happened in compute when mainframe and Unix-based servers were superseded by x86 systems,” saidBrad Casemore, IDC Research Vice President, Data Center Networks. “With its universal CPE (uCPE) solution for SDN-WAN environments, Dell EMC is extending its Open Networking portfolio to the enterprise edge to accommodate the growing number of cloud-based applications that require lower latency and scalability.”

Availability:

The Dell EMC VEP4600 will begin shipping worldwide onApril 24, 2018.

Additional Resources:

  • Tom Burns, senior vice president, Dell EMC Networking & Service Provider Solutions,discusses service provider transformation
  • Dell EMC Networking Virtual Edge Platformwebpage
  • Dell EMC Networkingwebpage
  • Connect with Dell EMC via Twitter,Facebook,YouTube and LinkedIn

Dell EMC

Dell EMC, a part ofDell Technologies, enables organizations to modernize, automate and transform their data center using industry-leading converged infrastructure, servers, storage and data protection technologies.  This provides a trusted foundation for businesses to transform IT, through the creation of a hybrid cloud, and transform their business through the creation of cloud-native applications and big data solutions.  Dell EMC services customers across 180 countries – including 98 percent of the Fortune 500 – with the industry’s most comprehensive and innovative portfolio from edge to core to cloud.

Copyright © 2018 Dell Inc. or its subsidiaries. All Rights Reserved. Dell, EMC and other trademarks are trademarks of Dell Inc. or its subsidiaries. Other trademarks may be trademarks of their respective owners.

1 Based on Dell projections comparing preliminary SIR performance projections on Intel® Xeon® D-2183IT against measured performance on Intel® Xeon® D-1581.

Xeon Processor D-1500 product family configuration: 1-Node, 1 x Intel® Xeon® Processor D-1581 with 128GB DDR4-2400 (configured at 2133MHz) on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.

Xeon Processor D-2100 product family Configuration: SPECint*_rate_base2006 on 1-Node, 1 x Intel® Xeon® Processor D-2183IT with 72GB DDR4-2400 (estimate based on 4GB/core) on CentOS Linux release7.3.1611(Core) 3.10.0-514.21.2.el7.x86_64.

2 Up to 512GB memory capacity vs Intel® Xeon® D-1500 product family at 128GB.

Intel technologies’ features and benefits depend on system configuration and may require enabled hardware, software or service activation. Performance varies depending on system configuration. No computer system can be absolutely secure. Check with your system manufacturer or retailer or learn more at [intel.com].

Software and workloads used in performance tests may have been optimized for performance only on Intel microprocessors.

Performance tests, such as SYSmark and MobileMark, are measured using specific computer systems, components, software, operations and functions. Any change to any of those factors may cause the results to vary. You should consult other information and performance tests to assist you in fully evaluating your contemplated purchases, including the performance of that product when combined with other products.   For more complete information visitwww.intel.com/benchmarks.

 

SOURCE Dell EMC

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Using Cellular Failover For Network Resilience?

Here’s how to measure signal strength.

Cellular failover has become an increasingly popular method for out-of-band access or WAN failover to remote network infrastructure whenever primary connections experience outages — and for good reason. Devices being used for out-of-band access connecting through mobile networks comes at a fraction of the cost of a secondary WAN interface (cable, T1, etc) or PSTN connection and provides 4G LTE speeds that are 1000 times that of a 56k modem (soon ramping up to 5G).

However, not every data center or remote site location offers an environment that naturally supports cellular failover. Network sites are often in basements, underground, or simply in regions with patchy cellular coverage where signal strength is a persistent issue. The infrastructure itself may also prove problematic by producing interference and limiting (or downright preventing) cellular signals from getting through.

Just as the “no service” signal reading on your cell phone indicates when you’re unreachable, the lack of a strong signal at a network site means you cannot rely on cellular failover to maintain uptime when you need it the most. For this reason, it’s absolutely critical to continually test the cellular signal at any site that will utilize cellular failover (and ideally before installation), and to bolster that signal to the greatest degree possible. The stakes of maintaining uptime are inherently high — don’t let largely avoidable cellular connection problems be a reason for slow resilience and remediation.

Some technical background: Cellular signal strength is quantified as RSSI (received signal strength indicator), with the power of these signals measured in decibel-milliwatts (dBm). An RSSI reading above -69 dBm is considered a strong signal, while readings under -90 dBm convey a weak signal. Anything below -100 is too low to function. When preparing to measure signal strength, it’s necessary to first configure your cellular connection to ensure that only signals from the correct carrier and band are included in the measurement — an all-too-common error during the testing phase. This configuration can be done using the Access Point Name (APN) gateway from your carrier’s cellular network.

Once you’re prepared to make accurate measurements, there are three methods for checking your device’s signal strength:

  • Check the physical LEDs on the device. If you are on-site and these indicators are available on your device, this is a straightforward way for determining your signal strength — usually displayed just as how you’d view the signal indicator bars on a cell phone. But since this isn’t always feasible or available.
  • Use your command line interface. Many devices include commands that can be issued via CLI to the device to display information on the cellular signal.
  • Use a web interface. Network device managers with web-based user interfaces can be used to access RSSI and other cellular modem status information.

Also, a simple but usually effective strategy of checking signal strength within a network infrastructure location is to bring a cell phone with a SIM card from the same carrier to the location, and to check its signal throughout the premises.

So, let’s say you’ve now gone through the tests but discover that the cellular signal at a network location isn’t satisfactory? There are a few methods that might work for improving it, starting with ensuring you’re using the right antenna. If a standard antenna isn’t delivering enough signal, try swapping in a specialized high-gain or directional antenna. Similarly, if the signal strength where the device resides can’t be improved enough, extenders or boosters can also be used, in many cases, to capture a signal at a more optimal location.

You also might find that sometimes it’s not the antenna itself needing to change, but how and where you place it. It’s vital to make sure that both main and aux antennas are connected correctly, and to position them outside of metal racks and cabinets that may block the radio waves of the signal. Likewise, find a place for your antenna that avoids A/C wiring and other electrical or radio devices. Ideal placements include an outside window or, if available, a location high up within your facility. Also advisable is learning where your carrier’s nearest cell tower is, and then aiming the antenna towards it.

If these strategies aren’t enough, it may be time to check the signal strengths available from other carriers. By knowing how to measure your signal — and following these tips for getting the best signal possible for your location — you can give your data centers and remote network sites their best chance of being compatible with cellular failover as a key part of your IT infrastructure management planning.