Data center-class switches: A buyer's guide
A collection of articles that takes you from defining technology needs to purchasing options
This product overview is part of a series on data center-class switches and examines what to look for when getting ready to purchase them. This vendor-specific product overview provides additional information about the features of Dell's data center-class switches.
Dell's latest foray into the data center-class switching market is the C9000 series switch. The modular switch can span a wide range of deployment scenarios, including on campus, in midmarket and large-scale enterprise networks. The new C9000 series represents Dell's second-generation data center switch since it acquired Force10 Networks in 2011. Dell's approach is to offer hardware with lower operating costs than its competitors.
Dell C9010 Switch
The Dell C9010 is an 8-rack unit switch with 10 line card slots. Redundant route processor modules (RPMs) can be installed that provide a maximum switching capacity of up to 2.56 Tbps.
The C9010 chassis can support up to 248 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) ports or 60 40 GbE ports. The chassis can also support up to 2,000 virtual ports when used with the C1048P rapid access nodes, which are 1U distributed switches controlled by the C9010 RPM. The C1048P provides 48 10/100/1000BASE-T power over Ethernet plus ports for deployments through buildings, campuses and data centers.
Each line card installed on the C9010 has a maximum full-duplex line card switch fabric capacity of 1.44 Tbps.
Modular design for flexibility
The Dell C9010 switch features a highly modular design and a unified architecture if distributed 1 GbE copper interfaces are needed in the data center. This unified architecture allows for a single pane of glass for management of all data center switches distributed throughout a facility. This not only includes configuration changes, but firmware upgrades as well. Dell is also touting its open-standards operating system, which will ease the deployment of other infrastructure equipment deployed in the data center that uses industry-standard protocols, including OpenFlow controllers.
Other software features include the ability to logically segment Layer-3 traffic using virtual routing and forwarding lite, and an embedded framework that supports virtual machine awareness capabilities.
Dell C9010 Pricing
Pricing for the switches depends on configuration. A standard switch bundle costs up to $90,000, depending on which line cards customers select. The Dell C9010 Network Director chassis has a list price of $27,500, while the list price of the C1048P is $5,299.
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