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Data Center Fabric

Make data centers and cloud environments easier to scale, adapt and operate

What is a data center fabric?

A data center fabric is a network of leaf and spine switches that collectively represent a resilient and scalable infrastructure providing connectivity between software entities installed on servers. Each leaf and spine switch includes both hardware and software. The hardware provides the physical networking interfaces, switching matrix, control complex, fans, and other physical components. Each switch runs a network operating system (NOS) that provides the intelligence, routing capabilities, telemetry, and other programmable capabilities needed to operate the system.

The Nokia Data Center Fabric solution enables your operations teams to scale data center networks quickly and easily to meet new business needs while containing costs and improving efficiency.

It brings new levels of openness and automation to data center networking to help your operations teams manage accelerating demand with all the control they need. The solution is designed for data center network operators and cloud builders in CSPs, enterprises and webscale companies.

Our next-generation solution is driven by SR-Linux, a uniquely open, extensible and consumable Network Operating System (NOS), together with the Fabric Services System, which provides an intent-based NetOps toolkit to automate all phases of the data center fabric lifecycle.  

The solution includes high-performance hardware platforms which enable the implementation of modern data center switching architectures that are massively scalable and reliable. These include the fixed configuration Nokia 7220 Interconnect Router (IXR) for data center leaf/spine applications, and the modular Nokia 7250 IXR-6e/10e for data center spine and super-spine applications.

Nokia is recognized by GigaOm for two consecutive years as an innovation leader and outperformer in the data center switching market!


How can Nokia’s Data Center Fabric help?


Create scalable and adaptable data center network and cloud environments


Implement networking your way with a modern open, extensible and consumable NOS

High Performance

Deploy a family of 100/400G-ready merchant silicon switching platforms that support massive scale and speed


Accelerate time to market and optimize operations with an intent-based automation approach


Reduce operational risk with a digital sandbox that emulates the live network 


Seamless horizontal and vertical integration across the cloud ecosystem

How much effort could you save with a Nokia data center fabric?

Our business case analysis (BCA) tool – developed by Nokia Bell Labs – lets you model the operational job functions and tasks to design, deploy and operate our Data Center Fabric solution. It analyses job functions, tasks and effort spent to design, deploy and operate the solution and calculates related power and space cost savings.

Up to 40%

cumulative effort savings over 4 years for all operational tasks

Up to 43%

effort savings for future mode of operation for specific tasks in the operations life cycle

Up to 60%

effort savings for FMO 2 for specific tasks in the operations life cycle

~50% and 60%

power and space cost savings respectively


increase in fabric capacity

Discover our BCA tool and request a detailed report to see how you could benefit from our solution.  

More about the BCA tool

How to achieve an open, extensible, resilient data center fabric

The foundation of our Data Center Fabric solution is the product SR Linux, a model-driven NOS designed from the ground up with a management architecture that meets today’s demands for scalability, visibility, cost-efficiency and ease of operations.

SR Linux lets you achieve true openness and extensibility with an unmodified Linux-based kernel that supports a suite of our network applications. Your operations teams can use the power of containers, streaming telemetry, open APIs, Python scripts and DevOps processes to make network resources more consumable – in much the same way that compute and storage resources are in the modern data center. And with our unique NetOps Development Kit (NDK), they can easily develop and integrate their own network applications or integrate third-party applications.

How can you get the most out of automating your data center network operations

Our Data Center Fabric solution increases network agility by using declarative, intent-based approaches to automate all phases of data center fabric operations – from Day 0 design through Day 1 deployment and Day 2+ operations. Based on an open Kubernetes framework, our Fabric Services System uses a distributed microservices approach to deliver a true cloud-native operations and automation system. Its NetOps approach gives your operations teams the agility, control and confidence they need to increase efficiency for all phases of data center fabric operations.

The Fabric Services System also provides a “built-in” Digital Sandbox that creates a virtual digital twin of your live production network. It emulates your data center fabric with absolute parity allowing it to test and validate network changes before deployment, greatly re-risking network changes.

Which data center fabric to choose?

Data center fabrics for CSPs

As the 5G and cloud-native era move toward maturity, communication service providers (CSPs) are facing new and unpredictable demands that necessitate a change in the way they approach their data center fabric and edge clouds.

Nokia Adaptive Cloud Networking supercharges your data center fabric to enable you to seamlessly extend your operations to the edge clouds. It allows service providers to transform their cloud networks to be consumable, agile and automated.

  • A consumable network provides a needed foundation of openness, extensibility, visibility and control to access the network and optimize network operations.
  • An agile network adapts to the constantly changing scale and performance required from the application layer, ensuring needed elastic scalability as dictated by the applications.
  • An automated network supercharges network operations by making various built-in NetOps-based automation tools available throughout the network’s lifecycle.

Data center fabrics for enterprises

Enterprises today are accelerating their digital transformation initiatives to increase productivity, to strengthen business resiliency and to improve sustainability. With an ever-increasing volume of business and operational data, evolving their data center and cloud networks are central to meet these business goals.

The Nokia Data Center Fabric solution empowers your network operations teams with a “ready to use” operations and automation toolkit to modernize their Day 0, Day 1 and Day 2+ data center network operations to accelerate new applications development and maintain high application performance.

  • Benefit from open data center switching platforms that offer an innovative design foundation which supports unrivaled flexibility for implementing and customizing network tools
  • Rapidly implement ‘ready to use” tools to simplify Day 0 design, Day 1 deployment and Day 2+ operations
  • Harness digital twin capabilities to test and validate changes before applying them to the production network

Data center fabrics for webscale companies

Webscale companies such as cloud, colocation, hosting, content and gaming providers rely on cloud data centers, cloud-native technologies and microservices architectures to deliver distributed applications and services to their customers.  

Fast-growing demand for these cloud-based applications is putting immense pressure on webscale companies to scale their data centers while controlling OPEX and boosting efficiency.  Our next-generation Data Center Fabric solution helps you meet new scalability, visibility and efficiency demands with an open, extensible and consumable NOS that features a model-driven management architecture. With our solution, you can:

  • Easily integrate a modern, open NOS into your existing cloud-native operational environment
  • Develop network apps and tools using a declarative, intent-based NetOps toolkit
  • Automate all phases of the data center fabric lifecycle at scale

IDC ANALYST CONNECTION: Achieving Datacenter Network Modernization for Effective Digital Business

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