Arista Counts 10GEsArista Counts 10GEs
5:50 PM And its got some words about Cisco's 'unified' world
May 12, 2009
5:50 PM -- As the networking industry turns into Cloudland under the weight of the impending Interop show, it's hardly surprising to get a call from the company that claims to have invented the term "cloud networking."
Arista Networks Inc. is noteworthy for the Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) veterans at the top. It was founded by Andy Bechtolsheim and, as of October, run by Jayshree Ullal. (See Ullal Lands in the Cloud.)
Not surprisingly, the company takes issue with Cisco's dream of a "unified" (all-Cisco) data center and network cloud. (See Cisco Beckons Carriers to the Cloud and Cisco Dreams of Data Center Unity.)
"The challenge that Cisco is running into is that their products were not designed for this capability," says Anshul Sadana, Arista's director of systems engineering. Easiest example: The Nexus 7000 core switch is limited to 80 Gbit/s per slot. "That's not what you need for a nonblocking design where you need low latency."
Arista had a product announcement today, too -- the 7100T line of one-rack-unit switches, holding 24 or 48 ports of 10-Gbit/s Ethernet. It's meant for copper connections in the data center (using the 10G-BaseT standard), so it's not a Nexus killer or anything, although the density is impressive.
What's more important, Arista says, is the box's latency -- just two or three microseconds, versus 20 to 50 microseconds for a typical switch, according to Sadana. That could be critical for things like video services, in Arista's view.
While I'm delving this deeply into the data center, I ought to mention that Extreme Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: EXTR) had a product announcement yesterday, coinciding with a clutch of others. (See Interop Preview: The Switch Is On.) Extreme introduced the 8900-series modules for the BlackDiamond 8800 switch, upgrading its fabric capacity to 3.8 Tbit/s. Extreme says the system can support 582 10-Gbit/s Ethernet ports into one rack.
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading
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