Arista is launching the 7280E family today, claiming it’s the first fixed-configuration switch with 100-Gb/s uplinks. They can act as high-end leaf switches feeding into the company’s 7500E spine switch.
In classic Arista fashion, the 7280E is about heavy-duty hardware specs — we didn’t have a data sheet handy, but the photo above looks like 48 10-Gb/s ports with two 100-Gb/s uplinks — targeting high-end environments such as financial networks and large data centers. (If you’re wondering about the “spline” switches announced in November, they’re intended for the average enterprise, a market Arista is trying to expand into.)
Every vendor is going to arrive at having 100-Gb/s leaf switches eventually. A spec that’s a bit more distancing for Arista is the amount of memory that the 7280E can pack — 9 GB, as opposed to the 9 to 12 MB found in a typical fixed-configuration switch, says Martin Hull, Arista’s senior product line manager.
Yes, Arista really is saying there’s a difference on the order of 1,000x. Arista calls this feature Ultra Deep Buffers (because “ultra” is a lot more than “very,” as we all know), and they exist so the switch can avoid timeouts during large jobs — storage or big-data work, for example.
The 7280E line is slated for general availability in August.
Arista is also announcing some other tidbits related to its switch portfolio:
- Smart System Upgrade (a.k.a. hitless upgrades) for fixed-configuration boxes. A spine can be upgraded hitlessly by diverting traffic to other boxes, but the leaf switch is right there in front of the application; it has no substitute. Smart System Upgrade keeps the control-plane processes running elsewhere, keeping them alive by feeding them occasional packets during the upgrade. This only works for short periods of time, obviously. SSU for Arista’s 7050X switches is in beta, with general availability due later this year.
- The 40G-UNIV optical transceiver, a 40-Gb/s, QSFP module for both multimode and single-mode fiber. It lets operators deploy one type of optics everywhere and migrate to single-mode fiber at their own pace, Arista says. The modules are orderable now.
- Availability of the Data Analyzer (DANZ) on the 7500E spine switches. Arista has also added deep packet inspection and a tap aggregation manager to its EOS software, along with a means for operators to hand-pick particular flows to be monitored.
- OpenFlow 1.3 support, for the 7280E and 7500E switches.