About 3+ years ago, while I was consulting VP Marketing at XORP, Inc (later bought by Pica8 and morphed into the Xorplus codebase that runs on Pronto Switches), we had conversations with Fulcrum about their chips and the Alta platform. It was an impressive architecture and seemed like it would revolutionize the the industry. And since then, I know the networking industry has been eagerly awaiting the availability of the Alta platform with its programmable Intel FlexPipe architecture for doing cool things like tunneling support (think VXLAN et al). With an Intel acquisition along the way and resources put on getting Alta to market, it’s finally available in an enterprise-grade switch: the Arista 7150.
The Arista 7150 is an impressive product, with a very low-latency of 350ns, and NAT and VXLAN support. It has 24, 52 or 64 10GbE interfaces with a 1.28Tbps switching capacity. Arista is touting its advanced software capabilities and the benefits of EOS coupled with the platform as making it ideal for modern datacenter applications like Big Data/Hadoop, high-performance computing and high-frequency trading. In fact, with NAT support built in, this platform could be ideal for latency-sensitive deployments that traditionally wasted 100s of milliseconds NATing through load-balancers–think financial platforms and algorithmic trading. I’m certain that the financial services and cloud service providers, already strong markets for Arista, are all over this new platform (available in volume very shortly) and potentially ditching traditional vendors like Cisco. (Editor Note: Cisco’s announced the Nexus 3548 today to compete with Arista)
As well, it’ll be interesting to see what Arista and other vendors do with the FM6000’s FlexPipe architecture to drive software-defined networking (SDN) and network virtualization. I’m sure there’s more innovation to come, and I hope it’s not just yet another tunneling protocol.
Original Press Release Follows
Arista Networks Unveils Versatile Software Defined Switching Platform for Demanding Applications
New Arista 7150 Series Offers 40gbE, Lower Latency, Flexible Forwarding and VXLAN support
SANTA CLARA, Calif., Sep.19, 2012 – Arista Networks today announced the Arista 7150 Series of switches, offering a flexible forwarding path that supports advanced functionality through Software Defined Networking. These products enable architectures well suited to interoperate with SDN controllers for network- wide virtualization, Virtual Machine(VM) mobility and network services, without compromising performance.
The Arista 7150 Series offers up to 64 wire-speed 1/10 GbE ports or 16 40GbE ports, the largest Layer2/3 and multicast scale offered. The 7150 Series supports VXLAN tunnels at wire-speed, supporting workload mobility between physical and virtual machines. It further enables 40GbE ports with latency of 350 nanoseconds for Layer 2/3 modes. Advanced Network services, such as Network Address Translation, IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol, and application management are, for the first time, available on a single system, providing unprecedented flexibility.
“We are excited to collaborate with Arista on the 7150 Series, designed with the Intel® Ethernet Switch FM6000 silicon for flexible forwarding. Together with Programmable Arista EOS, new SDN functionality can be achieved with a common platform. Such versatility is a breakthrough innovation in the industry and a testament to the world-class design achieved by Arista and Intel working together,” said Diane Bryant, Vice President and General Manager, Datacenter Group at Intel.
SDN Features for Big Data, Cloud, Web 2.0 and Financial Trading Applications
The wire speed Network Address Translation (NAT) capabilities of the Arista 7150 allow customers to eliminate 100s of microseconds of forwarding delay in HPC and financial trading architectures. The advanced Latency Analyzer (LANZ+) functions provide application-level microburst detection, congestion monitoring and analysis essential to optimize big data and other performance-sensitive applications. The flexible forwarding path enables new packet formats to be parsed and forwarded with deterministic performance and provides investment protection. Along with open EOS APIs the 7150S offers monitoring, analysis and forensic capabilities for both coarse and fine-grained views of data flows and network activities; including stateless load balancing and network analyzer functionality. Additional AgilePort capability allows four individual 10Gb ports to be combined into a single 40Gb ports for further scale and simple network migrations.
“Arista has combined a flexible forwarding data path with the Arista EOS (Extensible Operating System) to deliver breakthrough latency, power, density and advanced SDN features in a compact 1U form-factor. The Arista 7150 is truly the first next generation SDN switch for virtualized data centers,” stated Andy Bechtolsheim CDO and Chairman of Arista Networks.
All Arista products including the Arista 7150 Series run the same Arista EOS binary image, allowing for ease of operations. EOS can also run on virtual machines, allowing validation of network configurations and functionality. Features such as Advanced Event Management (AEM) allow users to customize network behavior suitable to their environment and further automate the cloud infrastructure.
The Arista 7150 Series switches are orderable now and shipping in CQ4 2012, with a list price starting at $12,995.
Arista Networks was founded to deliver software defined cloud networking solutions for large data center and computing environments. Arista’s award- winning best-of-breed 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches redefine scalability, robustness, and price–performance. At the core of Arista’s platform is EOS, the world’s most advanced network operating system. Arista Networks products are available worldwide through distribution partners, systems integrators and resellers.
Additional information and resources on today’s announcement can be found at:http://www.aristanetworks.com
Arista Networks firstname.lastname@example.org (408) 547-5798
Check out more about Arista Networks on SDxCentral: (our favorite is an Interview with Jayshree Ullal, Arista Networks CEO)