The solution runs over an industry standard software and hardware that includes Software for Open Networking in the Cloud (SONiC), Mellanox Spectrum switches and ConnectX IO adapters, which can scale to up to millions of virtual machines (VMs). The solution eliminates the extreme complexity and the high cost that have been required with older solutions and thus enables Enterprise IT managers to expand their non-virtualized data centre to Azure and to achieve their goals while maintaining an attractive total cost of ownership (TCO).
Mellanox Spectrum switch systems are an ideal spine and Top of Rack (ToR) solution, allowing maximum flexibility, with port speeds ranging from 10Gb/s to 100Gb/s per port, and port density that enables full rack connectivity to every server at any speed. The Open Network Install Environment (ONIE) based switch platforms support multiple operating systems, including SONiC and leverage the advantages of Open Network disaggregation and the Mellanox Spectrum ASIC capabilities.
"As enterprises accelerate the move to the public Cloud, they also recognize that certain workloads will remain on-premises, and thus need easy and cost-effective solutions to connect these two worlds seamlessly", stated Dror Goldenberg, vice president, software architecture, Mellanox Technologies. "Now, using Mellanox networking solutions, organisations can achieve their goals to connect their traditional on-premise non-virtualized infrastructure to the virtualized Azure Cloud, which will accelerate the transformation of enterprise data centres to boost performance and agility of mission-critical business applications."
Microsoft's Software for Open Networking in the Cloud (SONiC) is the first solution to break monolithic switch software into multiple containerized components. SONiC enables fine-grained failure recovery and in-service upgrades with zero downtime. At its core, SONiC is aimed at efficient Cloud networking use cases, where simplicity and management at scale are the highest priority. Complete with monitoring and diagnostic capabilities, SONiC is a perfect fit for the Mellanox Spectrum family of switches.
"Running one of the largest clouds in the world, Microsoft has gained significant insight into building and managing a global, high performance, highly available, and secure network", stated Yousef Khalidi, Corporate Vice President for Azure Networking at Microsoft Corp. "We are happy to work with Mellanox on the new solution, which addresses our customer needs and makes Azure easier to use."
Demonstrations at OCP Summit 2018 U.S. on March 20 and 21, 2018 included a demonstration of Apstra's Intent Based Networking (IBN) platform, which makes SONiC quick and simple to deploy and manage on Mellanox Spectrum based Ethernet switches.