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HP Next Generation Data Center Fabric: Tested by Network Test using Spirent

sr.jpgBy Sam Rastogi, Global Product Marketing Manager, HP, and Ankur Chadda, Product Marketing Manager, Spirent


Virtualization, cloud computing, and big data are transforming the data center – global enterprises are turning to cloud services, virtualization solutions, and high-performance computing to boost service velocity and business agility, support big data and analytics, and improve data center economics. HP is leading the charge with a new FlexFabric data center networking portfolio launched this week that delivers a new architectural approach that offers simplified, scalable and automated connectivity for virtualized compute, storage and cloud services through a common fabric, delivering industry’s most complete software-defined network fabric in the data center.


I worked with David Newman from Network Test and Ankur Chadda from Spirent to validate the performance and reliability of the HP FlexFabric 12900 and 11900 Switch Series and HSR6800 Router Series.


Behind-the-scenes look: the HP FlexFabric Performance & Resiliency Test


We collaborated together to design a test bed to emulate a large-scale enterprise data center fabric based on extreme conditions and network complexity. Spirent equipment subjected the HP 12910 and 11908 switches and HP HSR6808 router to a series of tests to stretch the limits.





Test objectives and realism under scale 


Spirent’s unique topology emulation, complex traffic generation and results analysis capabilities helped subject the HP data center core switches and routers to realistic traffic conditions and demonstrate performance and feature robustness. The Spirent equipment emulated massive scale and reliability with a mix of L2-3 traffic, MPLS, IPv4/IPv6, and features (TRILL, FCoE, DCB, firewall, NAT, VPN) across high density 10/40 GbE ports. Spirent TestCenter and Spirent Avalanche ensured that the traffic originated from several tens of thousands of hosts/servers/VM workloads and hundreds of thousands of users across millions of flows connected in complex topologies – typical in a real-world enterprise data center networks.


Test Results: Industry leading performance, scale, reliability. One of the largest, public 40 GbE tests ever conducted!


Network Test validated that HP FlexFabric 12910 was one of the largest public 40G Ethernet (GbE) tests ever conducted, with 128 ports of line rate performance and 64 ports of 40 GbE  on the HP FlexFabric 11908, and supported more than 128,000 hosts, servers, or VM workloads.


HP FlexFabric 12910 and 11908, set a new benchmark in the industry by demonstrating massive control-plane scalability up to 255,000 networks. In addition, HP 12910 and 11908 was validated with new data center networking standards such as Transparent Interconnection of Lots of Links (TRILL) that enables enterprises to build large layer-2 network fabric as well as Fiber Channel Over Ethernet (FCoE) and Data Center Bridging (DCB) to simplify data center complexity with network and storage convergence. Resiliency tests were conducted on the 12910 and 11908 switches and there was no impact on user traffic from loss of key components, with multiple levels of redundancy for high availability or downtime when changing system images, with in-service software upgrade (ISSU) support.


In addition, Network Test validated  that the HP HSR6808 router delivered industry-leading routing performance, services scalability, and reliability to help enterprises enable public and private cloud services to hundreds of thousands of users without compromise.  The HP HSR6808 delivered 280 Gbps of routing throughput with the full internet routing table (up to 450,000 FIB table entries). Also, HSR6808 generated 160 Gbps of routing throughput with 4 million RIB routes and 2.3 million FIB table entries with IPv4, IPv6, ACL, QoS, virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) instances. Network Test validated that the HP HSR6808 delivered tens of thousands of concurrent GRE, PPPoE, and L2TP tunnels without packet loss. The router supported 32 million stateful firewall and NAT sessions and more than 1.2 connections per second. HSR6808 supported 10,000 IPsec tunnels and delivered over 105 Gbps IPsec VPN throughput. Network Test validated that the HSR6808 delivered 27.7 Gbps throughput of combined services including stateful firewall, ACL, and NAT with one line card. In addition to performance and scalability tests, Network Test conducted high availability tests to compare recovery times of HP Intelligent Resilient Framework (IRF) compared to industry alternatives like VRRP. HP HSR6808 with 2-chassis Intelligent Resilient Framework (IRF) delivered more than 4900 times faster fail-over time than VRRP that recovered from a failure in a little over half millisecond compared to nearly 3 seconds from VRRP.


To learn more about the tests, stop by the HP booth at Interop Las Vegas, held May 6-10 at Mandalay Bay, in booth 1527 and HP Discover 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada - June 11-13. HP will be conducting a live performance tests of the HP FlexFabric switches and HSR6800 routers with the Spirent TestCenter and Spirent Avalanche at the shows. For more information on HP FlexFabric, please visit   


HP FlexFabric portfolio – high performance, scalable, and resilient


Network Test validated the industry-leading performance of HP FlexFabric portfolio – with line throughput across one of the largest public 40 GbE switch tests ever conducted and superior scalability  and reliability compared to the industry. With HP FlexFabric you can build a flatter, more resilient, efficient, cost-effective  and secure network infrastructure that helps meet your needs for emerging cloud services, virtualization, and big data applications and readily accommodate the bandwidth intensive, delay-sensitive  traffic flows that permeate today’s virtualized compute, storage, and cloud environments. HP FlexFabric delivers new levels of design and operational simplification, and industry-leading density, scale, and performance for your next-generation data center network. 



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