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Nokia to offer data centre switches to boost Azure bandwidth

The announcement is part of an ongoing collaboration to develop the 'SONiC' networking initiative

Nokia will provide Microsoft with data centre switching hardware to help support the bandwidth growth of Azure. 

The announcement is part of an ongoing effort between the two companies to bring highly scalable and secure networking to data centres. Which includes the open-source 'SONiC' initiative to develop chassis-based platforms. 

The SONiC initiative, which was announced in May 2020, is an open-source network operating system, based on Linux. The 'chassis-based' implementation is about connecting different networks and having more control over data flows and network packet transfers. 

Nokia will supply Microsoft with its 7250 IXR chassis-based interconnect routers which will be used to support "high-density" 400GE applications in Microsoft's 'tier-2' network architecture. The 7250 enables service providers, webscale and enterprise networks to meet increasing traffic demands with high networking performance and reliability to support business growth.  

Enterprise switches have more features than smart switches, and they can usually be customised. Enterprise switches are typically found in networks with multiple switches and connections, where centralised management can produce significant savings in time and effort. 

Nokia said its data centre switching portfolio meets all Microsoft's requirements, including the ability to scale and provide essential interconnectivity required for modern data centre networks. 

This latest step is about meeting the demand for cloud services and cloud computing along with the move to 400GE. In addition to the 7250 IXR, Nokia is also supplying fixed-form-factor platforms to other Microsoft network services. 

"Today's data centres have their own unique operational challenges, and Nokia has been working closely for some time now with Microsoft to understand its evolving data centre needs and requirements," Vach Kompella, vice president, IP Networks Division, Nokia, said. "Our expertise in building high-performance, chassis-based systems was a key factor in our selection."

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