Cisco competitor extends data centre fabric line

Xsigo Systems this week enhanced its data centre fabric portfolio with support for more hypervisors and next-generation servers based on Intel’s “Romley” design.

Xsigo makes products that virtualize data centre I/O. Its I/O “director” fills in for Ethernet and Fibre Channel switches connecting servers to storage and other network resources. Xsigo’s I/O Director is also designed to reduce the number of server cards required for connecting Fibre Channel, iSCSI and Ethernet devices.

It also make fabric management and server provisioning tools that manage all I/O connections in a data centre from a single graphical interface; and enable “one-click” network connections from virtual machines to any data centre resource, including servers, networks, storage, and other virtual machines.

This week, Xsigo renamed the products Fabric Director, Fabric Manager and Fabric Accelerator, respectively, under a new umbrella name: Xsigo Data Centre Fabric. And it also added support for new “Romley” servers and those based on AMD’s Opteron 6200 series processors from major vendors, including HP’s Gen 8, Dell 12th Generation, and IBM System x3650 M4 series servers.

Romley servers are based on Intel’s Xeon E5 processor with an embedded 10GBase-T LAN-on-Motherboard connection.

The Xsigo Fabric Director also now provides 56Gbps server-to-server connectivity with InfiniBand. This is up from 40Gbps in previous Directors.

The product line also now supports two more hypervisors: Oracle VM and Red Hat. This brings to five the number of hypervisors Xsigo’s fabric lineup supports, including VMware, Microsoft HyperV and Citrix Xen Server.

A new four port 10G Ethernet module for the Director doubles the 10G connectivity of the system. And a new software plug in for Fabric Manager, called Performance Monitor, provides more granular monitoring of traffic passing through the Xsigo Data Centre Fabric, with historical information on spikes and usage trends, among other metrics.

Xsigo also said it doubled its number of customers since the beginning of 2011, to 300. They include a 55,000 seat desktop virtualization deployment at Royal Bank of Scotland with partner Fujitsu, and a large enterprise public cloud deployment by Canadian telecommunications company TELUS.

Xsigo’s Data Centre Fabric line and virtual I/O strategy competes with Cisco’s Unified Computing System and FibreChannel-over-Ethernet server, switch, virtualization and storage access fabric convergence offerings.

All products are available now. The Fabric Accelerator is licensed on a per server basis, with licenses beginning at US$15,000 for a 10 server bundle. The Fabric Performance Monitor is US$7,500.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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