What the IT department wants from the network is the best combination of performance and simplicity. This is why a Virtual Chassis, built with stacks of network switches acting as a single logical device, has become a fixture in Enterprise campus wiring closets and in Top of Rack (ToR) configurations in Data Centers.
New technologies enable Virtual Chassis systems to provide faster connectivity, span connectivity over long distances, instrument identity management for rich user and application mobility, and deliver the benefit of simplicity through streamlined management.
At the Campus edge, Virtual Chassis enable great flexibility in connecting hundreds of computers, telephones, printers, cameras, and wireless access points on each floor with different speeds, from 10/100 Fast Ethernet, 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet, and sometimes even 10 Gbps.
At the Data Center edge, Virtual Chassis connects hundreds of servers and storage devices over Gigabit Ethernet, 10 Gbps and even 40 Gbps in a single stack with a single IP address. Leveraging new technologies such as QSFP+, stacking bandwidth now scales to incredible performance, up to 512Gbps speeds, and it provides flexible cabling with reach up to 100m. Think of servers now connecting within racks, across racks and across rows in Data Center, all within a single Virtual Chassis.
In the mobility era pertaining to campus networks, where increasing amounts of users, devices, and applications are in motion, a consistent and scalable Virtual Chassis also enables intelligence from the heart of the IT infrastructure, the network. IP phones are automatically assigned appropriate power levels and Quality of Service (QoS). User identity is tracked as people connect from different Campus edge locations. Network profiles can be associated with application and Virtual Machines (VMs) such that network policies move to the the appropriate port as soon as respective VMs move to another server.
The benefits are clear with Virtual Chassis. A single IP address adds to both design and deployment simplicity. Enterprise IT gets to create a Virtual Chassis spanning long distances, connecting up to 384 diverse endpoints at differing speed and power needs, and combine rich identity management and virtualization tools.
Want more value from your network? Be sure to Stack it Up!