Dell Force10 Operating System
Hardened performance for real-world networks
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Optimized for portability, resiliency and scalability
Dell FTOS, the Force10 Operating System, is a powerful and robust operating system that runs on the Dell Force10 switch/router product lines. It is architected for high performance, resiliency, and portability. The Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) makes FTOS applications portable across product lines. Its modular design dramatically increases code reuse and accelerates the delivery of applications. FTOS is based on NetBSD, with application code developed and maintained by Force10.
- Out-of-the-box stability, resiliency, performance, and security advantages
- Increased software portability and modularity to bring high performance application features to all switch/router product lines
- Based on NetBSD, an industry’s leading, freely available open source operating system. NetBSD is highly reliable, portable and efficient
FTOS: The power of one
Rich functional coverage
The primary FTOS attributes, modularity and extensibility, allows an accelerated evolution in different domains, including Layer 2 and Layer 3 services, as well as management functions, security services and other FTOS features.
FTOS Software Architecture
FTOS leverages a distributed, multiprocessor architecture that delivers highly scalable protocols and reliability in each product line. Z-Series and E-Series Route Processor Modules (RPMs) are designed with separate control plane CPUs for Layer 2, Layer 3 and management functions, with distributed processing on line card CPUs. The C-Series RPMs and S-Series switch/routers use one control plane CPU, with distributed processing on C-Series line cards and S-Series stack members.
The NetBSD kernel provides a stable operating system and unparallel resource management thanks to its renowned Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) architecture. Highly optimized it provides superior levels of concurrency, memory allocation, and process scheduling. All other applications run as independent and modular processes in their own protected memory space.
Dell Force10’s switch/route platforms derive from a single code base which follows a linear, sequential release path. It allows the Z-Series, E-Series, C-Series, and S-Series to deliver uniform solution sets. Dell Force10 ensures that customers benefit from stable code, consistent configuration environment, and simpler software management. FTOS reliability and scalability characteristics provide the foundation for always-on networks and deliver substantial reliability and scalability advantages.
Flexibility and faster time-to-market
The trend towards increased service innovation requires decreased time-to-market. FTOS modular architecture allows for further expansion of enhanced applications to meet current and future key propositions, and thus, achieving further operational efficiencies.
- The drive and benefits of a single code base and a single release train enables Dell Force10 to perform more robust and comprehensive rigorous functionality and scalability testing
- Customers benefit from more stable, reliable software and consistent CLI
- All platforms can benefit from a single maintenance release, which greatly simplifies software maintenance
- FTOS control plane inherits a high degree of maturity and stabilityfrom its roots in NetBSD’s high performance IPv4 and IPv6 stacks
- Advanced inter-process communication (IPC) mechanisms enable a scalable and distributed control plane
- Switching and routing protocols have been extensively tested and hardened through deployment in large global networks
- FTOS can accommodate the most demanding environments, reliably scaling to support very large, high performance networks
- Common management functionality and common user interface across Dell Force10 product lines make operating the network easier
- Simpler product training and learning curve because system configuration, diagnostics, troubleshooting and software maintenance are identical across platforms
- Support for the same CLI, SNMP, and XML management models throughout the network greatly simplifies life-cycle management of the infrastructure Consistent functionality, a stable code base and a common management interface and tool set all help reduce operational expenses (OPEX), thus lowering total cost of ownership (TCO).By supporting FTOS across all its switch/router products, Force10 extends the reliability and scalability benefits to all tiers of the network for optimal uptime.
Dell FTOS Command Line Interface (CLI)
The CLI is a primary method of administering, configuring, and monitoring FTOS applications and Dell Force10 switches/routers. The CLI is a significant asset in protecting training investments: It is fully compliant with the predominant, de-facto industry standard CLI. Certified engineers will be immediately familiar with the Dell Force10 CLI and productive from day one.
The CLI has many powerful features which make it very convenient for usage on a daily basis. It includes on-line help, auto-completion, plain text or XML front-ends, Unix-like tools, such as grep, and non-interactive mode for scripting, to mention some.
|Dell FTOS Specifications|
RFC and I-D Compliance
General Internet Protocols
General IPv4 Protocols
General IPv6 Protocols
1981 Path MTU Discovery (partial)
IPv6 Routing Protocols
2702 Requirements for TE Over MPLS
Management and Security
HP OpenView support
Quality of Service and Rate Policing
Weighted Fair Queuing (WFQ)
Download the Dell Force10 Operating System (FTOS) Spec Sheet (PDF).
- Pricing and product availability subject to change without notice.