400GbE Finally Hits the Mainstream

Dell Technologies latest Z-series 400GbE family of switches will get you the throughput and performance you need in the data center.

The continued growth of hyperscale networks and the increasing number of distributed and mobile workloads being supported by modern networks is driving the need for increased network speed for data centers and cloud services. While 100GbE ports have shipped for some time, Dell’Oro Group predicts 400GbE and higher speeds will account for more than 28% of port shipments by 2024¹.

A number of additional factors are driving the rapid shift to 400GbE. Server densities and processor capabilities continue to increase, and organizations are adopting more hyperconverged systems. Data centers are adopting bandwidth hungry applications like HPC and virtualization, moving to cloud-based applications, and looking for ways to pack more capacity into the same space. In addition to providing greater bandwidth, 400GbE requires one-fourth the number of connections to the spine as 100GbE, reducing port density, simplifying cabling and allowing more room for expansion.

Most organizations will still see significant value in 100GbE technology and will not rip and replace their 100GbE network backbones, instead looking to solutions that enable a smoother migration to 400GbE where port speeds can be increased via software.

As modern data center networks increase in complexity, there is a growing demand for automation driving digital transformation within the network infrastructure. When the Dell EMC PowerSwitch Z9432F-ON is paired with SmartFabric OS10, the built-in SmartFabric Services features enable autonomous fabric deployment, expansion, and life-cycle management for software-defined infrastructures and can easily manage the entire infrastructure from a single pane of glass for a more agile, reliable, and simplified network. Similarly, with Dell EMC SmartFabric Director software, organizations can automate the configuration of data center networks using an intent-based approach, providing enhanced visibility of both the virtual overlay network (VMware NSX-T) and the physical underlay of Dell EMC PowerSwitches.

The new Dell EMC PowerSwitch Z9432F-ON also supports multi-rate high-speed connections so that organizations can provision the appropriate port speeds as business needs require and ensure a smoother migration path. This flexibility can greatly help organizations to minimize the need for hardware upgrades as the network scales and traffic patterns change since the Z9432F-ON 400GbE ports can be configured to handle connection speeds of 10/25/100/400 GbE within one rack unit (RU).

ESG’s initial review of the Dell EMC PowerSwitch Z9432F-ON reveals that organizations can facilitate high performance and low latency connectivity throughout their data center fabrics and into hybrid clouds.

In this video, Bob Laliberte, senior analyst, discusses modern networks requirement for open, flexible solutions that enable rapid expansion, delivery high performance and maintain operational efficiency.

¹ Source: Dell’Oro Group: Ethernet Switch – Data Center Five Year Forecast Report 2020 – 2024, July 2020

About the Author: Petri Virsunen

Petri Virsunen supports Dell PowerSwitch networking switches for data center, campus and branch on the Dell Technologies Networking product marketing team. Prior to Dell Technologies, he worked with Cisco’s Customer Experience (CX) portfolio product development, ensuring a consistent brand and cohesive customer journey across marketing efforts. Prior to Cisco, Petri was a senior product marketing manager at VMware, in Cloud Provider Software business unit. Native of Finland, he holds a M.Sc. degree from Lappeenranta University of Technology.