Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise introduced Intelligent Fabric (iFab) technology for business agility. The iFab technology provides simpler network designs, easier interoperability, plug-n-play deployment and automatic reconfiguration with server/device/application moves/adds/changes. The iFab technology has been selected as a finalist for ‘Best of Interop’ 2015 in the networking category and will be on display at Interop Expo, Las Vegas on April 28-30.
The iFab technology is supported in both the data center switching and the converged campus network solutions, supporting businesses to benefit from a single consistent approach for all network infrastructure needs.
Important elements of the Intelligent Fabric technology include:
- Self configuration – The iFab enables Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) Enterprise switches to be simply unwrapped and cabled. The system does the network configuration automatically, generating a network that is ready in minutes.
- Self attachment – Network connection and interoperability of access switches, servers, applications and 3rd party switches/devices are auto-configured.
- Self healing – The iFab technology includes comprehensive redundancy and resiliency with automated reconfiguration in response to failures to provide 7×24 uptime.
- Easy moves/adds/changes – The system identifies new, changed or relocated switches, applications, devices and servers and auto-updates the configuration accordingly.
- VXLAN Hardware Gateway – Those who are using VXLAN technology to manage their application infrastructure have to look into both the physical and virtual worlds. The recently introduced ALU OmniSwitch(R) 6900-Q32 offers an integrated wire-rate VXLAN hardware gateway that bridges these two spheres/worlds.
- VXLAN Overlay Visibility and Quality of Service – VXLAN creates a virtual world on top of the physical infrastructure in order to provide business agility for applications running on virtual machines (VMs). The iFab technology auto-identifies VMs in the VXLAN environment. IT now has a visibility of applications in both physical and VXLAN networks and the tools to deliver quality of service, security as well as prioritization.
- Virtual Network Profile (VNP) – The VNP feature introduced in 2011, contains information – quality of service, prioritization and security. As new applications are introduced or moved, the iFab dynamically detects the applications, in either the VXLAN or physical network, and creates the VNP and services across the network. The VNP feature is also extended to support Secure VM.
- SDN ready – To simplify the relocation to an SDN environment, the iFab technology provides support for standards-based Openflow 1.3, OpenStack plug-in, RESTful APIs and embedded Python scripting capability and has demonstrated integration with NEC, which will be showcased as part of the InteropNet SDN Lab.
- Management of the iFab technology – The OmniVista 2500 Management system offers full visibility into the network, devices and applications flowing across it and contains predictive network analytics tool to help IT teams better understand forthcoming capacity necessities.
The iFab technology is now available for the OmniSwitch 6900 and OmniSwitch 10K platforms, including the latest OmniSwitch 6900-Q32 platform. Later this year, this technology will be expanded to support, via a software upgrade, the OmniSwitch 6860 advanced access switch to provide true network agility from the network edge to the core to the data center.
Zeus Kerravala, Founder, ZK Research said, “The cost and time to adopt applications and new services to support today’s business needs is too high, yet to progress businesses need to invest in evolving and effective technologies. This new Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise Intelligent Fabric eases the pain points of IT departments as they can now add new services in minutes, rather than hours, bringing significant improvement in time, resources and spending while demonstrating how IT can rapidly accommodate the business needs. The Intelligent Fabric is the network of the future.”