It’s no secret that data centers are huge power consumers. As a result, most data center operators and tenants these days are paying close attention to the energy efficiency of their gear, both to drive down their electric bills and need for cooling, and to lower carbon footprints. That said, readers might be interested to know that Force10 Networks Inc.’s core switch/router consumed significantly less power than comparable Cisco (News - Alert) and Juniper switches during independent tests conducted by The Tolly Group and using test, collection and analysis tools from Ixia.
The Force10 Networks (News - Alert) product tested was the ExaScale E-Series chassis-based solution. According to Tolly Group, the ExaScale consumes less than half the power of the Cisco Nexus 7000 and 23 percent less than Juniper in line-rate gigabit Ethernet and 10gigE configurations. The test measured power consumption of the Force10 ExaScale in a fully loaded line-rate gigabit Ethernet and 10gigE configurations in Watts per gbps of throughput. It employed energy consumption data based on figures published by Cisco Systems (News - Alert) and Juniper Networks to calculate energy requirements for their comparable data center core switches.
Configured with the maximum possible 1,260 gigE ports, the Force10 ExaScale E1200i used 4.77W per gbps of throughput. That’s compared to calculations of 9.28W for the Cisco Nexus 7000 Series, and 6.15W for a Juniper EX8216, both configured with the maximum possible of 768 gigE ports. With the maximum possible 140 line-rate 10 gigE ports, the ExaScale draws 3.34W per gbps of throughput. That compares to calculations of 7.59W for the Nexus 7000, and 4.69W for the Juniper EX8216, both configured with the maximum of 128 line-rate 10 gigE ports.
It is these kinds of improvements that can help a company earn the recently announced data center Energy Star rating, according to Force10.
“Data center power and cooling costs are forecasted to rise significantly in the next several years. Ironically, positive device attributes, such as performance and port density, are driving these higher costs. Consequently, we anticipate data center managers will more closely examine how switches are architected to minimize energy consumption,” says Kevin Tolly, founder, The Tolly Group (News - Alert). “Our testing indicated that Force10 clearly recognizes this ongoing concern and has demonstrated a critically important capability to combine robust performance features with very low power consumption.”
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that data centers account for approximately 1.5 percent of total U.S. electrical consumption at a cost of $4.5 billion annually.
Edited by Patrick Barnard