October 20th, 2016 by Adam Armstrong
Facebook Announces GA Of Its Wedge 100 Network Switch
In March of this year, Facebook announced its Wedge 100 top of the rack (TOR) switch. At the time Facebook had opened up the design of the Wedge 100 to the Open Compute Project (OCP). Facebook is now announcing that the Wedge 100 specification has been accepted by the OCP and brings Facebook one step closer to its goal of 100G data center.
Facebook is one company that when it changes a good portion of the world notices. That being the case, Facebook uses fully open and disaggregated hardware. The reason for this, is so they can replace hardware or software with newer, better technology as soon as they need to. Wedge 100 is no exception. While the Wedge 100 replaces the Wedge 40, it is still backward compatible with existing 40G devices and uses the same FBOSS and OpenBMC software. While the Wedge 100 uses some of the same hardware as the Wedge 40, it has been changed to address pain points in the previous version.
From a hardware side, the Wedge 100 is all about serviceability. Facebook has thousands of these switches in operation across their data centers and if they need to be serviced, it has to be done quickly. Facebook has made the Wedge 100 with a bent toward toollessness and hot-pluggability. This leads to faster maintenance and less potential for downtime. The Wedge 100 also has a lower case temperature limit of 55°C versus the standard 70°C. While the Wedge 100 is a standard 19” form factor it also has a 21” adaptor tray for mounting the Wedge 100 in larger racks. At its heart it has a COM-Express Type 6 module in the compact form factor (95mm x 95mm) as the microserver and supports COM-Express module form factor (95mm x 125mm).
From the software side, the Wedge 100 uses a nearly identical stack as the Wedge 40. There were a handful of changes made to the stack to make it more compatible with the Wedge 40 in parallel operation. The Stack for the 100 also needed to be more flexible than the 40 as it was less constrained overall. And the stack has been tweaked to where bug fixes can be done much more rapidly.
The Wedge 100 is commercially available now as a product from Edgecore Networks.
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