Data center-class switches: A buyer's guide
A collection of articles that takes you from defining technology needs to purchasing options
Editor's note: 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 HP's FlexFabric 12900 series of data center-class switches.
The HP FlexFabric 12900 series is a line of data center-class switches for enterprise IT infrastructures, especially those with highly virtualized environments. The series has two products: the HP FlexFabric 12916 and the FlexFabric 12910, with 16 and 10 I/O module slots, respectively. Both switches can be used by enterprises; the FlexFabric 12916 also targets private and public cloud providers. Both switches are non-blocking Layer 2- and Layer 3-compliant with full support for software-defined networking implementations. Both switches receive HP's in-service software upgrades, limiting downtime.
HP FlexFabric 12916
The HP FlexFabric 12916 is HP's flagship data center switch. It has 16 I/O slots and supports up to 768 1/10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) ports, 384 40 GbE ports and 64 100 GbE ports. In addition to the standard I/O modules, it has two main processing unit (MPU) slots for management modules and up to six fabric slots delivering bandwidth of more than 2 terabits per slot.
The switch runs a quad core MIPS64 processor at 1.2 GHz, with 1 GbE of flash and 8 Gigabytes of memory using the double data rate 2 (DDR2) standard. It has a switching capacity of 30.7 terabits per second (Tbps) and a throughput of up to 19.2 billion 64-byte packets per second. Switches have 12 power supply slots, but power supplies are sold separately.
HP FlexFabric 12910
The FlexFabric 12910 is one step down from the 12916. It carries 10 I/O slots and supports a maximum of 480 1/10 GbE ports, 240 40 GbE ports or 40 100 GbE ports. Like the 12916, the 12910 has a maximum of two MPU slots and six fabric slots.
The switch runs a quad core MIPS64 processor at 1.2 GHz, with 1 GB of flash and 8 GB of DDR2 memory. It has a switching capacity of 19.2 Tbps and throughput of up to 12 billion 64-byte packets per second.
Both switches mount in a standard 19-inch rack cabinet and support interconnects like Fibre Channel and Fibre Channel over Ethernet. They are also multi-tenant-ready, allowing cloud network administrators to virtualize one physical switch into multiple logical devices.
Pricing and support
HP's pricing for the FlexFabric series is not disclosed, although it can be found online on third-party sites. The FlexFabric 12916 currently costs about $24,000, and the FlexFabric 12910 costs about $14,000 to $18,000. Official prices may vary depending on which modules and cards are chosen.
HP offers a one-year warranty with advance hardware replacement within 10 calendar days. Limited electronic and business hour support is also available for the duration of the warranty period.