Amsterdam Doubles Bandwidth With Brocade 100Gb Switch

Brocade’s rumoured 100Gbps Ethernet switch has emerged at Amsterdam’s AMS-IX Internet exchange

A much-rumoured new core router from Brocade has emerged today, and is enabling a massive capacity increase at Amsterdam’s AMS-IX Internet exchange.

AMS-IX, one of the world’s largest Internet exchange points, is using the new MLXe core router as an upgrade path in response to a massive growth in demand for capacity. The router includes a blade that meets the IEEE standard for 100Gigabit Ethernet.

Upgrade needed to handle video boom

“Traffic doubles at the exchange every eighteen months,” said Henk Steenman, chief technology officer at the Amsterdam exchange, explaining the rapid increase was mostly due to Internet video. “Our existing infrastructure was reaching capacity, so we urgently needed to increase port density.”

The exchange decided on a core router upgrade with a path to 100Gigabit Ethernet. “The MLXe was the only possibility to do that in an efficient and cost-effective way,” said Steenman. IT put in seven MLXe-32 routers alongside an existing network of MLX devices, without impacting customers.

AMS-X carries around 1Tbps of Internet traffic, and has effectively doubled its capacity by installing the MLXe, Steenman said. The organisation hosts major international links such as the Global GPRS Roaming Exchange, and its 365 members between them have over 340 10GbE ports.

Traffic growth

Gartner analysts predict the growth will continue, with global Internet traffic due to grow five-fold in the next three to four years. To meet this, AMs-IX plans to add the 100GbE blade in future.

Brocade says the MLXe is the world’s most powerful and competitively-priced 100GbE router, and is compatible with previous MLX products, as well as the IEEE standards. It’s intended for virtualised data centres (where Brocade will take on Cisco) and large service provider installations like AMS-IX.

The MLXe has a 15.36Tbps fabric, and can have four times the density of 100 GbE wire-speed ports and nine times the system capacity of competing routers, Brocade reckons. It can combine ports together to create a true Terabit-per-second trunk.

Brocade started in storage area networking and, since acquiring Gigabit Ethernet specialist Foundry Networks, has made a play for the whole networking space, notably challenging Cisco over energy efficiency, claiming its solution is greener.