Modern networks have to be smarter, faster and more flexible than at any other time in network history; at Exertis Hammer we have recognised this and have embraced the changing face of today’s networks by opting to work with vendors who offer not only traditional networks, but also vendors that bring disruptive network technology that meet the demands of the modern datacentre.
Exertis Hammer’s portfolio covers all elements of the network, whether for the LAN or SAN, from adapter to cable to switch. Our vendors offer end-user wired and wireless solutions and network solutions for traditional datacentres, and modern hyperscale datacentres including network virtualisation, open networking and software-defined networking.
Pairing our class leading network solution portfolio with our experience, expertise and services ensures you’re not only buying great technology but also working with a VAD who will help you design, deploy and support your customers’ networks.
Exertis Hammer has been supplying Ethernet, Fibre Channel and InfiniBand networks for nearly two decades, and can supply networks for the campus, the datacentre, storage and high performance computing deployment.
End user/campus networking
Whilst typical desktop connectivity remains at 1GbE, how we connect to the network as users demand more flexibility; users not only connect via wired connections, they also need to connect to the network via wireless technology and roam within the organisation, often connecting with their own devices and frequently connecting to the network remotely. Meeting the demand for uninterrupted wired and wireless access to the network presents new challenges for the network administrator. Working with vendors such as Dell and Huawei, we offer the very best unified campus solutions which bring wired and wireless networking together seamlessly whilst simplifying management, offering infinite scalability, and maximising available budgets.
Switches offer 1GbE & 5GbE switching technologies to connect end-user computing to wired and wireless elements of the network, and 10GbE uplinks to connect to the datacentre network. Exertis Hammer’s portfolio of switches are suitable for all sizes, from the small office right up to large enterprise and university campus networks. They include all of the features you’d associate with a campus network, e.g. Layer 2/3, PoE, stacking, management and offer chassis, edge and stand-alone form factors.
Wireless Controllers and Access Points connect end-users and simplify management of wireless devices. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) management enables control and service of users connecting to the network via their own device.
With mass adoption of virtualisation, cloud deployment, big data etc, the challenges presented to the enterprise are greater than ever. Working with network vendors such as Mellanox, Solarflare, Huawei and Dell, Exertis Hammer can offer truly flexible datacentre networking solutions that meet today’s demands.
The datacentre requires high bandwidth to cope with the volumes of data traversing the network; 10G/40G infrastructures are available but often don’t offer the performance now required. Enter the era of 25G, 50G and 100G networking. These multi-rate switches offer not only speeds up to 100G, but also fantastic flexibility and density with the ability of 100G ports to be broken out to either 4x 10G/25G or 2x 50G, this means it is possible to support up to 128x 10G or 25G connections via 32x 100G ports, and have the ability to mix and match different ports to different speeds.
Another critical aspect of application performance in the datacentre is low-latency. With switches offering port to port latency as low as 300ns as well as network card adapter technology such as RoCE (RDMA over Converged Ethernet), our portfolio of solutions enable your customers to get the best network and application performance possible - and with zero packet loss.
Another trend in the datacentre is the move away from the traditional 3 tier core, access, edge topology as it is no longer viable due to performance, management and scalability restrictions. Datacentre network traffic patterns have changed with the mass adoption of virtualisation, meaning a far more efficient way to design and deploy datacentre networks is to use a “Spine/Leaf” topology which enables east to west traffic flow over the network between the servers and storage.
Probably the most fundamental change in the world of networking for decades is the ability to buy switch hardware independently of the switching software, generally known as disaggregation. For years customers have been locked into the OS as provided by the switch vendor, whether they wanted the features provided (and the associated cost) or not. Today there is choice - today you can buy a switch from Exertis Hammer with the vendor’s own switch OS, or choose to buy just the hardware and then an Open OS from a vendor such as Cumulus. This solution offers many benefits:
- Faster IT delivery - native integration and best-of-breed tools for automation, monitoring, analytics and more
- Network protection - with industry-standard security features
- Flexible Open Architecture - that allows your customers to customise their network and scale seamlessly
- Reduced CapEx - by lowering the cost of acquiring open switches and optics
- Reduced Opex - by leveraging existing talent and assigning more switches per engineer
- Complete standardisation - with Linux across the entire datacentre, your customers will reduce complexities and get complete interoperability
Whether the requirement is for Open Networking, network virtualisation or software-defined networking, Exertis Hammer can offer world class, disruptive vendor technologies that enable your customers’ datacentre network to cope with today’s ever increasing demands.
Server Network Interface Cards
Not all Server Network Interface Cards (NICs) are created equally, even if the basic specs do look similar on the datasheet. Choosing the adapter that best matches the application, or service running on the server, can make a tremendous difference to performance.
Certain environments, such as financial services, cloud, and storage to name just a few, can be extremely sensitive to latency so it’s important to choose a NIC which can help reduce latency on their network. Techniques such as RoCE (used by Mellanox and QLogic) or OnLoad (used by Solarflare) have dramatic effects on latency and can significantly increase application service levels, while reducing CapEx and OpEx related to I/O infrastructures.
Using the hardware features of the NIC to “Offload” processing overheads from the server CPU not only improves performance and service, but can also drive the cost of your customers’ server down. This reduces the need for such a powerful CPU, and allows the server CPU to get on with running applications faster and more efficiently.
Choosing a NIC with Offload capability improves performance with:
Secure, monitor & secure
For environments where servers are exposed to risk of attack from malicious sources, such as web servers, server NICs can help prevent these attacks and increase protection over traditional firewalls by offering additional protection at the NIC level within the server. The ability to monitor and capture traffic as it passes through the NIC can also help with security, and help administrators understand traffic patterns.
Exertis Hammer’s portfolio of NIC vendors includes Intel, Mellanox, QLogic and Solarflare, meaning that we can provide you and your customers with single, dual and quad port NICs running at 1G,10G, 25G, 40G, 50G and 100G speeds. Whatever the server NIC requirement, we can help match the right NIC for your customer.
For over 10 years, Exertis Hammer has helped partners design and supply high-performance computing (HPC) networks. HPC encompasses advanced computation over parallel processing, enabling faster execution of highly compute-intensive tasks such as:
- Machine learning
- Climate research
- Molecular modelling
- Physical simulations
- Geophysical modelling
- Automotive and aerospace design
- Financial modelling
- Virtual reality
HPC workloads and storage systems require interconnects that provide high-bandwidth, low-latency, efficient networks that can easily scale from only a few to tens of thousands of nodes. Exertis Hammer’s HPC networking solutions include Mellanox and Intel, with both vendors offering adapters, switches, cabling, and management software for HPC environments.
Mellanox's family of InfiniBand switches deliver the highest performance and port density with complete fabric management solutions. Mellanox has a broad portfolio of Edge and Director switches supporting 40, 56, 100 and 200Gb/s port speeds and range from 8 to 800 ports.
Intel’s Omni-Path Architecture portfolio is an end-to-end solution of adapters, silicon, switches, cables, and management software. As the successor to Intel True Scale Fabric, this optimised HPC fabric is built upon a combination of enhanced IP and Intel technology.
Networks that move data between servers and storage have to be fast and reliable. Traditionally fibre channel has been the defacto standard for storage area networking and whilst fibre channel still maintains a strong presence today, other technologies such as Ethernet with iSCSI and more recently iSER (iSCSI Extensions for RDMA) have made significant inroads into the world of storage networking.
Also, hyperconverged and other ‘fast’ storage solutions are upping the stakes in terms of performance especially those which use NVMe technology. To keep pace, our Ethernet and fibre channel vendors have been leading the development of the NVMe over Fabrics protocol which enables native NVMe traffic to be passed over fibre channel and Ethernet storage networks.
Working with vendors including QLogic, Mellanox, Broadcom, Dell and Huawei, Exertis Hammer is well positioned to support whichever type of storage networking is right for your customers. Our technology solutions include:
- Fibre Channel Host Bus Adapters and Switches
- Fibre Channel over Ethernet Converged Network Adapters
- iSCSI Host Bus Adapters
- Intelligent Ethernet Network Interface Cards
- Ethernet Switches
- Cabling and Transceivers