Hyperconverged and modern storage systems typically use 8-16 nodes in a rack.
If this is the case, then why too many deployments are using standard Data Center switches with 48 ports ToR to build their modern HCI/storage solution today?
Let’s review the options in the market today and the major considerations when choosing a switch to connect your scale-out HCI/storage solution.
So, you deploy a modern solution, and system integrator or a storage vendor proposes a 48 port switch, as this is what he typically sells for data centers. What does it really mean?
Many ports for future growth?
No, not really, the rack will never have more ports, as storage/HCI scales using more racks, not enough power/space for more nodes in the rack
Advanced features, many of them purchased with licenses…
Most of these solutions leverage only 3 features on the switch: VLAN, LAG and mLAG…
L3? VXLAN? OpenFlow? More… all supported/included on the ½ 19’ switches ubt typically not used so no need to pay extra for unused capabilities
Many of those switches use Broadcom’s performance (latency, packet rate…)
Sometimes it is good enough, with modern storage, it may not be sufficient… any reason to compromise on performance when the price and power are higher?
Paying more for switches than you are paying for the HCI/storage solution? Sounds crazy, but we have seen it happening…
Mellanox has built a dedicated HCI/Storage Switch. It comes at the right port count, form factor and price, delivering better performance. Many have realized there is no reason to use switches from legacy vendors as you pay more and get less – time to do the math and choose a switch which was built for your storage/HCI solution.
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Deliver Predictable Networks
by The Tolly Group
Understand the fundamental differences between Mellanox Spectrum and Broadcom Tomahawk based switches and the importance of predictable performance and zero packet loss.