Force10 Network has anounced a new initiative aimed at easing the management of virtualised data centres.

The company's new framework includes a suite of terabit-enabled network virtualisation and management software, as well as "enhanced architectural design elements," Force10 said.

Overall, the company's Virtualisation Framework is intended to allow network and data centre managers to troubleshoot and benchmark network and application performance in virtualised environments using standards-based data centre automation and orchestration technology.

The framework includes use of real-time network traffic analysis, management and architectural tools such as Force10's VirtualControl, VirtualScale and VirtualView software. VirtualControl partitions physical network assets to virtualise logical boundaries, allowing one device - such as a switch or router - to act as many devices.

VirtualScale enables network managers to consolidate physical network fabrics into a virtualised fabric. And VirtualView allows administrators to see what is happening on the network, and to automate network responses according to resource needs and demands, Force10 said.

VirtualControl and VirtualScale contain features for Layer-2 and Layer-3 set-ups that help eliminate the need for spanning tree protocols, build resiliency into the network, and ensure that traffic for specific applications can be segmented to increase manageability, according to Force10.

VirtualView provides both real-time traffic monitoring using sFlow, and provides orchestration policies accessible through a command line interface, SNMP and XML-based commands and control provisioning middleware in the future, the company says.

Orchestration tasks include automatically powering down under-used resources; policies driven by business process or time of day; and resource pool definition and reallocation through dynamic assignment of virtual LANs.

Force10 has a partnership with software developer Cassatt for the orchestration aspect of Virtualisation Framework.

All applications run under Force10's FTOS operating system and are available now. Certain features to fill out the framework, however, will be added in the future, said Force10.