Cavium expanded its Xpliant programmable Ethernet switch family to include new products targeting the hybrid cloud environment.
Cavium said the XP70 series can scale from 1 Tb/s to 1.8 Tb/s, and is targeted as a connectivity upgrade for enterprises, data centers, and carrier networks. The XP60 series can scale from 280 Gb/s to 720 Gb/s, and is designed for the campus, embedded, and carrier access markets.
The new products slide in under the XP80 line, which can scale up to 3.2 Tb/s.
John Harrsen, director for Cavium’s marketing switch platform group, said the new products fit into a number of market segments, including hybrid cloud, radio access, and the gigabit passive optical network (GPON) market. The products are targeted at deployments looking to scale from 1-gigabit Ethernet to 10-GbE support for the XP60, and up to 25-GbE support for the XP70.
The new products leverage the same programmable engine as the XP80. Cavium said this supports software migration for those currently using the XP80 platform and access to the Xpliant software tools.
Cavium explained its platform enables a “true” software-defined networking (SDN) support that it claims is the first of its kind at the supported speeds. The company said the support also applies to flexible routing and header formatting required for scaling network functions virtualization (NFV) solutions.
“What is relevant to us is that companies are starting to use SDN control framework for PON aggregation,” Harrsen said. “We are seeing environments where services are being provisioned using an SDN controller. This is a network management decision that was made and basically changes the paradigm on how the chips work. We are able to differentiate ourselves in the GPON aggregation market to support the control plane as an SDN controllable plane.”
Harrsen noted the new products also take into account the growing virtualization of the server environment, with greater use of hybrid cloud and containers.
“It’s interesting to watch how servers are being virtualized,” Harrsen said. “The new things we are seeing are the use of containers. A basic server can support more containers than [virtual machines]. This allows for better utilization of that server. We have enhanced our products to support this increased utilization.”
Programmable switch platforms continue to gain steam in the market.
Barefoot Networks recently scored deals with China-based Alibaba Group, Baidu, and Tencent Holding to deploy its Tofino switches running the open source P4 language and targeted at programmable forwarding plane technology. Those deals followed up on a domestic win with AT&T, which signed on to become the first telecommunications provider to deploy the Barefoot switches.
Broadcom last month said it was adding programmability to its chip-based switches designed for data centers, enterprises, and service provider networks. The market giant said the programmable switch series includes support for protocol parsing, processing, and virtualization services.