In Featured, Plexxi Switch


Its not very often that something comes along that has the potential to be transformative through a new and truly differentiated approach. With Plexxi’s announcement this morning of our new Switch 2 Series , coupled with Plexxi Control and Plexxi Connect, we’re making strides to change the way networks function to support the business. Based on the needs of individual data and application workloads, the Switch 2 Series uses the innovation of Plexxi Control to dynamically change fabric topology in real time, intelligently forwarding traffic and delivering needed network capacity.

The next era of IT is being forged by the evolution of virtualization, hyperconvergence, Big Data and scale-out applications. Storage and compute have rapidly evolved over the last decade to keep pace but networking architectures have remained relatively unchanged.


Here is the evolution of networking, as we see it:

Platform One:

The network has, for decades, been built in the same multi-tier (core, leaf/spine) approach making it static and defined by it’s physical cabling.  This architecture was perfectly suited for stationary users and non-mobile applications, which created predictable north/south traffic. The traditional approach for introducing new applications in platform 1 was to “pour” them into the static network, and then keep your fingers crossed that the network would support them. When users complained of poor application performance, IT wrote a check for a bigger box with more bandwidth and built another multi-tier and static network.

Platform Two:    

For the most part, this is where the industry is today.  With the introduction of mobility on either side of the network (both users and virtualized workloads), the static nature of network architectures is showing weakness in its inability to support dynamic users and applications. In response, the industry has tried to react by creating software overlays, new protocols, traffic encapsulation, MPLS, etc. This has led to an avalanche of complexity that is unsustainable.  Something has to change.

Platform Three: 

At Plexxi we believe a network built for the 3rd Platform is where the industry must go, and that our newly announced Switch 2 Series along with Plexxi Control and Plexxi Connect is how to get there.  A 3rd Platform network is built on an ultra-low latency single tier, optimized for east/west traffic and has the ability to scale-out with the speed and agility of storage and compute. In a single tier network, you have one switch type, eliminating the need for differentiated skill sets and over-provisioned, costly spines. A  3rd Platform network begins with the data and application workload requirements, and dynamically engineers the network fabric around them to guarantee performance. A 3rd platform network also eliminates the mobility barriers for virtualized workloads that exist in traditional platform 1 & 2 networks. This allows organizations to unlock the full potential of their highly virtualized private Cloud deployments.

“In the era of the 3rd Platform, especially as cloud proliferates, enterprises and developers want to focus on their applications and services, not on the underlying network infrastructure,” said Brad Casemore, Research Director, Data Center Networks, IDC. “Accordingly, networking vendors must provide an agile, dynamic network infrastructure that features application-oriented programmability. By focusing on the needs of the application rather than those of the network, Plexxi seeks to provide an application-centric approach to network infrastructure suited to the demands of the next era of IT.”

The Switch 2 Series will allow organizations to meet the demands of the next era of IT with a network that is more agile, scalable, and intelligent. It delivers unprecedented CapEx (less hardware and cabling) and OpEx (automation and operational efficiency) savings while tightly aligning to application and business priorities.

The Plexxi Switch 2 Series includes the following options, allowing customers to seamlessly scale-out their network in a building block approach, as the organization requires:

  • The Entry Series (2e), a low-cost, high-density platform for Big Data and agile data centers.
  • The Performance Series (2s, 2sp), a high-density platform for Big Data, agile data centers and distributed cloud environments.
  • The Performance Plus Series (2, 2p), a high-density platform for Big Data, agile data centers and distributed cloud environments.

For technical details about the Plexxi Switch 2 Series, visit here.

Bob Noel


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  • […] needed to support unprecedented amounts of data. Our own Director of Solutions Marketing, Bob Noel, blogged about the launch and its importance to the industry and how it relates to Plexxi’s vision earlier […]

  • […] switch series. Our CEO, Rich Napolitano spoke exclusively with Haranas just last week about the new Switch 2 Series and his predictions for the next era of […]

  • […] of IT. To learn more about our predictions for what’s next in IT, take a look at this recent blog post by Bob Noel, Director of Solutions Marketing here at […]

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