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Facebook working on 100 GbE Wedge switch

Facebook says it's working on a 100 GbE Wedge switch; Extreme Networks launches 802.11ac Wave 2 APs; and the Linux Foundation envelopes the Open Network Summit.

Facebook, which last year introduced Wedge -- a 40 GbE bare-metal, top-of-rack (ToR) switch -- said it is now working on a 100 GbE version of the device.

In a blog posted last week, Facebook engineers Jasmeet Bagga and Hans-Juergen Schmidtke didn't disclose when the next-generation Wedge switch would be released, but did say it would be equipped with 32 100 GbE ports. The switch, like the rest of Facebook's evolving portfolio of networking components, would run on JBoss, a Linux distribution with multiple modules for protocol handling, control logic and other features.

Facebook said development of the new Wedge switch would be in addition to work now underway to design a high-capacity aggregation switch, dubbed 6-pack, which uses Wedge as its foundation.

The social media company also said that since announcing the 40 GbE Wedge switch, it's deployed thousands of the devices throughout its data centers and wants to standardize all of its current ToR switches on the Wedge design. Bagga and Schmidtke wrote that Facebook has taken steps to prevent the Wedge's CPU from overloading by placing "hard limits" on the amount of traffic sent to the CPU from the ASIC. Control plane traffic, meantime, is prioritized to ensure high availability of the Clos fabric underpinning Facebook's infrastructure.

Meantime, Facebook said the Open Compute Project (OCP) accepted the design of the 40 GbE Wedge. This means the switch's design details are available to any contract manufacturer that wants to fabricate the device.

Extreme Networks deploys Wave 2 APs

Extreme Networks Inc. debuted a line of Wave 2 802.11ac access points (AP) for high-density Wi-Fi networks. The announcement comes as Extreme, based in San Jose, Calif., positions itself to capitalize on Internet of Things wireless offerings.

According to Extreme, the new APs include a wide range of enhanced features, including real-time visibility, beefed-up analytics, flow-based switching and multiuser multiple input, multiple output (MU-MIMO). MU-MIMO will allow APs to connect to more users simultaneously, thus improving performance in crowded venues, such as stadiums and arenas.

Other features include voice over wireless LAN and HotSpot 2.0 support to allow mobile users to swap easily between cell and Wi-Fi networks in crowded environments.

Extreme's location-based analytics tools give customers the ability to determine how the network is performing in real time and to make adjustments, as needed.

Linux Foundation adopts Open Networking Summit

The Linux Foundation said it will take over management of the Open Networking Summit (ONS), making the annual meeting one of its annual events. The organization said the move will make ONS more accessible to open source developers, and ONS will now coordinate work currently underway to increase the use of software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) in the data center.

"Open source SDN and NFV are the future of networking, and future of our industry," Guru Parulkar, ONS chair, said in a statement. "Transitioning ONS to the Linux Foundation allows ONS to build on its successes as the premier event shaping the future of SDN and NFV to help grow the community, and accelerate adoption of open source SDN and NFV by network operators and vendors."

The ONS announcement comes a month after Linux teamed up with the Open Networking Operating System (ONOS) project to unify development of open standard software and platforms for service providers. ONS will include ONOS, as well as other Linux projects, such as OpenDaylight and OPNFV.

The next ONS will be held March 14 to 17 in Santa Clara, Calif.

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