Mellanox Joins the 100GigE Switch Pack

Hot on the heels of Cisco's Nexus expansion, Mellanox joins the 100GigE switch market with the promise of zero packet loss.

June 18, 2015

3 Min Read
Mellanox Joins the 100GigE Switch Pack

Mellanox is shaking up the Gigabit Ethernet networking market with the launch of a new product that, it claims, is the first "non-blocking" 100GigE switch and, to raise the bar even higher, claims the product offers zero packet loss.

The data interconnect components specialist says its new Spectrum product, which will become available in the third quarter, supports 10/25/40/50/100GigE connectivity for data center storage and server deployments. That range of speeds is increasingly important as data center operators, the web services giants and telcos look to optimize their cloud infrastructure deployments and look for the most suitable migration path from 10 GigE.

The product was launched at a special event in New York City (see video below).


To further its cause in the 25GigE market, Mellanox Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: MLNX) also today unveiled a new Ethernet adapter, the ConnectX-4 Lx, which supports 10/25/40/50 GigE. The components vendor claims it is the "first adapter designed to serve as a direct replacement for commonly deployed 10 Gigabit Ethernet adapters … [enabling] businesses to migrate to higher-performance technology as their bandwidth requirements increase without demanding an infrastructure overhaul or added operating expense."

Mellanox has been one of the companies behind the development of the 25GigE market with its backing of the 25 Gigabit Ethernet Consortium. (See New 25-Gig Ethernet Spec Targets Data Center.)

And it appears there is likely to be demand from some of the biggest data center players: According to market intelligence collected by Jefferies & Company Inc. analyst James Kisner, "25G Ethernet is likely to gain significant traction, particularly amongst hyperscale customers like Microsoft … this could help provide a nice product cycle for Mellanox as some customers move from 10G to 25G."

Mellanox, which reported revenues of $146.7 million and net income of $13.7 million for the first quarter of this year, saw its share price rise by almost 2% to $52.47 following the launch of the Spectrum product Thursday morning.

For more news from the world of Ethernet, check out our dedicated Ethernet equipment content channel here on Light Reading.

The launch of the Spectrum product should attract the attention of data center operators that increasingly need data networking systems that offer high throughput coupled with high reliability, flexibility and efficient performance: The "non-blocking" nature of the Mellanox product suggests it is designed to never get overloaded or oversubscribed, while the zero packet loss claims suggest very high levels of reliability. The product is also designed for SDN/programmable network strategies by supporting protocols such as OpenFlow and provides a monitoring interface for continuous performance tracking.

The component vendor already has a good relationship with Facebook, having worked with the social media giant on the development of its own, specially designed hardware platform called Yosemite. (See Facebook Reinvents Data Center Networking.)

The Mellanox launch comes only days after Cisco announced that its new Nexus data center switches, which also offer 10/25/40/50/100GigE connectivity, will be available in the third quarter of this year.

The Ethernet switch market is very competitive, with the likes of Broadcom, Cavium, Intel and Marvell also pitching for business, though the market is growing and is set to experience a ramp in demand for 100GigE products: Crehan Research expects the market for 100GigE switches to grow from about 10,000 in 2014 to more than 10 million in 2019. (See Cavium Claims Ethernet Switch Breakthrough.)

Mellanox signaled its intent to get into the 100GigE market two years ago with the acquisition of Kotura. (See Mellanox Buys Silicon Photonics for 100G.)

— Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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