Scale, Services, Simplicity: R6.0 Expands Broadcom-based Switch Portfolio and Showcases Multi-dimensional Innovation


Netvisor® ONE, UNUM and Insight Analytics 6.0 Release Highlights

This past week marked a major step forward in our mission to deliver SDN-automated data center fabrics, based on open networking principles, that radically simplify operations and lower costs. If you are a mid-market or large enterprise customer, a governmental or educational institution or a telecom or cloud service provider investigating data center fabric solutions, you should take a hard look at this new release. With release 6.0 of the Netvisor® ONE network operating system and the UNUM management and Insight Analytics platform, we are enabling Pluribus customers to build bigger, faster fabrics with more services and even simpler operations in both traditional and more constrained and distributed edge data centers. Below are a few highlights.

First, we have significantly expanded our portfolio of high performance Broadcom-based switches supported by Netvisor ONE OS:

  • Higher Density Broadcom-based Spine Switches: Netvisor ONE continues its leadership in open networking by supporting a trio of new white box switches based on the Broadcom Tomahawk 2 ASIC. The new platforms, supporting 64 x 100G in 2RU, are the Dell Z9264F-ON, the Edgecore AS7816-64X and the Pluribus Freedom Series F9664-C. As these fixed form-factor scale-out spine switches continue to increase in port density, the need for expensive and complex chassis-based switches diminishes. R6.0 also adds support for the Dell S5232-ON, a compact 1RU 32 x 100G Trident 3-based spine switch.
    Edgecore AS7816-64X Switch
    Edgecore AS7816-64X (Source: Edgecore Networks)
  • Service-rich Broadcom-based Leaf/Edge Switches: R6.0 also delivers new high-performance switches based on the programmable and feature rich Broadcom Trident 3 family of ASICs. This includes the Dell S5224-ON with 24 x 25G and 4 x 100G along with the S5248-ON featuring 48 x 25G and 6 x 100G supporting rich edge services, large scale network virtualization, network segmentation/slicing and wire-speed per-flow visibility. These switches can be deployed at the top of rack and are also ideally suited to building data center fabrics across multiple edge data centers supporting distributed cloud, edge compute and 5G services.
    Broadcom Trident 3 Family - Smarter Programmability
    Broadcom Trident 3 Family (Source: Broadcom)

Next, from a software perspective we have made foundational upgrades ensuring our customers have the ability to deploy cutting edge software with the most comprehensive set of features. With R6.0 Netvisor ONE has implemented the Linux Foundation’s FRR 7.2 suite which has provided us the scaffolding to add a new set of powerful layer 3 Pluribus capabilities. We have also upgraded R6.0 to the latest Broadcom SDK.

Upon this foundation we have dramatically expanded our overlay network services. Operational simplification is a key benefit of the Adaptive Cloud Fabric, powered by the Netvisor ONE OS, where services and policies can be implemented with one-touch fabric-wide provisioning across a single or multiple geo-distributed data center sites. Our protocol-free Adaptive Cloud Fabric uses controllerless SDN to radically simplify the deployment of the underlay, the overlay fabrics and policies and Layer 2/Layer 3 fabric services. For example with two commands in Netvisor ONE a customer can deploy a fabric and service across 32 switches whereas it would take over 830 commands using Cisco NX-OS – and this is per service.

The long list of new services supported in Release 6.0 illustrates how the Adaptive Cloud Fabric provides a robust foundation for innovation and new feature velocity. A few highlights:

  • Carrier Ethernet and layer 2 services: R6.0 introduces E-Tree service, with use cases in IoT Video Security and Metro Ethernet access/aggregation, complementing existing E-Line and E-LAN services to round out a full portfolio of Carrier Ethernet 2.0-compliant services.
  • Virtual Services Group (vSG): R6.0 introduces the new Virtual Services Group (vSG), a distributed multi-VRF and VRF leaking implementation designed to radically simplify service chaining. Expanding on Pluribus’ existing robust network segmentation capabilities, these new features allow cloud service providers, telco/cable cloud operators and enterprises to increase multi-tenant scale and embrace fine-grained microsegmentation, while also enabling shared services and simplifying new service deployment through policy-based inter-VRF routing and service chaining. And since these capabilities are services of the Adaptive Cloud Fabric, they can be implemented with one-touch fabric-wide provisioning and policy changes, simplifying operations and reducing the risk of security vulnerabilities due to mis-configuration.
  • Multi-VRF Integrated DC Gateway Router: In R5.2.1 Pluribus integrated the data center gateway router into the leaf/edge switch to eliminate the need for a stand-alone pair of internet routers at constrained edge sites, dramatically lowering cost, space and power consumption. R6.0 adds multi-VRF capability to the integrated DC gateway router, improving multi-tenant services and scale for service providers.
  • Network Packet Broker services: Pluribus has extended the industry’s only network packet broker solution implemented as a fully virtualized overlay service and capable of being deployed either as a stand-alone packet broker fabric or as an integrated service on a production switching network – an industry first.

With UNUM Fabric Management Platform R6.0, we are increasing scale, enhancing usability and enabling customers to store network data for a longer period of time.

  • UNUM High Availability Cluster – UNUM now provides a graphical front end for the Adaptive Cloud Fabric, but because it is not an SDN controller it does not hold network state and therefore was typically deployed as a single instance. With larger, mission critical fabrics being deployed UNUM now can be configured with higher scale and higher availability in the architecture. In addition users can identify a second seed switch in the fabric to increase overall high availability.
    Diagram: UNUM Fabric Manager with High Availability
    UNUM Fabric Manager with High Availability
  • UNUM Archiver – Customers can now store 10’s of billions of per-flow metadata records beyond the 30-day limit in a separate NFS repository. Administrators can copy the archived files to other long-term storage for historical analysis and compliance purposes.
  • New UNUM GUI for IP VirtualWire™ – R6.0 delivers a new and simplified graphical configurator for VirtualWire lab automation use cases, improving visibility of connected devices under test and simplifying creation of point-to-point connections between switch ports or end devices.
    IP VirtualWire Dashboard
    IP VirtualWire Dashboard
  • Dynamic Flow Mapping – With Insight Analytics 6.0, a powerful integrated analytics module within the Pluribus UNUM platform, customers can leverage the dynamic flow mapping dashboard and new features like sFlow to gain a better understanding of how their networks and applications are functioning.
    UNUM Insight Analytics Dynamic Flow Mapping Dashboard
    UNUM Insight Analytics Dynamic Flow Mapping Dashboard

Taken together, these new capabilities showcase how Pluribus continues to deliver rapid innovation across multiple dimensions to simplify networking.

How Do I Learn More?

If you want to learn more about Pluribus Networks’ approach to modern data center network architectures reach out to us for a demo.


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About the Author

Jayesh Chokshi

Jay has over 15+ years of engineering, technical marketing and product management experience in the networking industry. Prior to joining Pluribus, Jay served as the Director of Product Management for several of Cisco’s Enterprise networking product lines, including the launch of the market leading and latest generation of ISRs - ISR4000 series and the virtualization platform ENCS5000 Series. His specialties include Enterprise and Managed Service Provider Networking solutions including SD-WAN, NFV, Data Center switching and Converged Infrastructure solutions. Jay is responsible for driving the Pluribus product/solutions portfolio and technical marketing and partner activities.