Sunday, April 18, 2010

Arista Packs 384 L2/L3 10GbE ports in Data Center Switch

Arista Networks, a start-up based in Menlo Park, California, introduced its new flagship switching platform boasting 10 terabits per second of switching capacity and up to 384 wirespeed L2/L3 10GbE ports in one-quarter of a rack. The Arista 7500, which is designed for cloud computing, virtualization, and high-performance data centers, is five times faster and one-tenth the power draw per wirespeed port of other modular data center switches, according to the company.

The Arista 7500 features a modular design and leverages off-the-shelf Ethernet switching silicon. It uses the company's Extensible Operating System -- EOS -- that features a unique multi-process, state sharing architecture, with open access to Linux tools and extensible network services. EOS provides a single binary image across all Arista networking platforms and delivers mission-critical data center features such as Stateful Fault Repair and In-Service Software Upgrades.

Performance specification on the Arista 7500 include a L2/L3 throughput of 5.7 billion packets per second -- enough to deliver 40 and 100Gbps Ethernet interfaces in the future. A distributed, non-blocking fabric and mid-plane architecture enables low-latency traffic to be carried without loss and manages congestion under the most demanding workloads. The company calculates that its switch uses 1/10th the power per wirespeed 10GbE port, enabling it to use 90% less power that current technology. It also features front-to-rear airflow for new data center heat efficiency requirements.

The Arista 7500 scales linearly with each fabric module and is designed for the efficient forwarding of unicast and multicast traffic. Packet buffering has been boosted to 18 GB, which is more that double its nearest competitor. These capabilities enable data center consolidation, improve the performance of virtualized servers, deliver the performance needed for cloud computing, and lower the power draw of any network, thus reducing operating costs and improving the efficiency of the overall IT infrastructure.

The Arista 7500 Series starts at $140,000 with a price per 10GbE port of approximately $1200, depending on configuration. The platform is already in service in several mission-critical networks.

  • In May 2009, Arista Networks introduced its high density 10GBASE-T switches in a 1U form factor. The Arista 7100T layer 2/3 switches include 24 and 48-port models. Each model offers auto-negotiating 1/10GBASE-T ports with standard RJ-45 connectors and SFP+ uplink ports. The Arista 7100T switches support 10GBASE-T over Category 6a cabling up to 100m, but also support Category 5e and Category 6 cabling with distances up to 55m. This allows for investment protection with existing cabling plants.

  • Arista Networks is headed by Jayshree Ullal (President and CEO), who was previously Senior Vice President of Cisco Systems, responsible for the company's Datacenter, Switching and Services Group. The company was founded by Andreas Bechtolsheim, a well-known Silicon Valley entrepreneur, who was also a Co-Founder of Sun Microsystems and a Senior Vice President and Chief Architect for the Systems Group at Sun. From 1996 to 2003, Andy was Vice President and General Manager of the Gigabit Systems Business Unit at Cisco Systems.

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