Arista Promises New 400G Switches for These Cloudy Times

As enterprise cloud computing grows in size and importance, the pressure stays on vendors to deliver switches and routers that can handle faster throughput at the lowest possible cost per bit.

Stepping up to that pressure this week is Arista Networks Inc. , at least on paper. The company today is talking up its two new 400 Gigabit Ethernet switches for cloud networks and data centers. The company said the upcoming switches, part of its Arista 7060X4 series, provide four times the throughput and double the power efficiency of its 100G platforms.

Arista first crossed the 100G barrier on its 7500E and 7280E switches in 2013 and 2014. In 2015, Arista released its 7060X series, a 32 x 100G switching platform. This latest offering, the 7060X4 (400G switches), is the third generation of that 7060X series.

"We see year-on-year growth in intra-data center demand from 50% to 100% for the large-scale data center operators. The more recent growth is driven by serverless compute, NVMe (non-volatile memory express), storage and AI workloads," said Martin Hull, area vice president of cloud and platform product management for Arista, in an email to Light Reading.

Hull writes that in high-performance computing, the availability of 100G servers with graphics processing units (GPUs) and tensor processing units (TPUs) are creating massive workflows that require an increase in network capacity.

Arista notes that each 400G port can be split into four 100G ports, supporting up to 128 100G ports in a single 1U chassis.

The company said the new switches will be priced at under $1,800 per 400G port. The 7060PX4-32, which uses OSFP (Octal Small Form Factor Pluggable) modules, is coming by the end of the year, and the 7060DX4-32, which uses QSFP-DD (Quad Small Form Factor -- Double Density) modules, will be available before the end of March 2019.

— Phil Harvey, US News Editor, Light Reading

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