HP just released a new hardware model of Management Processing Units (MPUs) for their 10500 Core switch platforms. (For those of you more Cisco-oriented, we are talking about sort of the equivalent of the Supervisors on a Nexus 7k platform, since the 10500 has a CLOS architecture, with dedicated Switching Fabric modules that offload all the switching between the line cards.) Here are some specs of the new MPU on the right side, along with a (for example) 10508 mapping where they fit:
Now though the hardware specs show a some hardware enhancements (comparing with the previous one, which had a 1GHz single-core CPU, and 128MB of Flash), the most interesting part is definitely the support for the new version of OS: Comware 7.
Until so far the only platforms that supported this OS were the muscled ToR 5900 (yes 5920 as well, but for the sake of simplicity I will try not making it complicated) and the 12500 high-end Switching Core platform. Here are some of the enhanced and exclusive features that the boxes running CW7 were blessed with:
- ISSU (In-Service Software Update, which means online Software update without forwarding interruption)
- DCB Protocols (PFC, DCBX, and ETS) + FCoE (exclusive to the 5900 on this first release)
- EVB (naturally exclusive to the 5900, as this is a feature intended for ToR)
- MDC (Multi-Device Context – supports completely isolated Contexts/vSwitches, exclusive to 12500)
- TRILL (until so far was exclusive to 5900)
So what this means is that HP is bringing some of this juice to its platform positioned for Campus-Core. So if you upgrade your existing MPUs with the new ones, you will be able to add ISSU (without needing a second box clustered with IRF), as well as TRILL.
And, as you can imagine, there might be some updates in the near future on which Comware 7 features are supported on this box. Just be aware that 10500 is and will remain (at least for quite a while) a platform positioned for Campus-core, and as such, it does not make sense to add Datacenter funcionalities, such as EVB and DCB/FCoE.