Arista Networks today announced a new programmable switch, the 7160 Series, which uses the new XPliant XP80 chipset from Cavium. In addition, Arista has created a new switch memory technology called AlgoMatch.
“We’re introducing a new chipset, but it’s the same single EOS,” says Martin Hull, senior director of platform management with Arista. “With the chipset, customers get more choice without having to put up with disruption.”
The XP80 also adds programmability to the switch family so, in the future, new functionalities can be added through software upgrades.
Arista also added an additional new feature — AlgoMatch — to the 7160 Platform. Arista created AlgoMatch and is applying for a patent on the technology. It lets a switch or router use general purpose memory by applying advanced software algorithms.
Hull says ternary content addressable memories (TCAMs) have been used in packet routing for a couple of decades. But the advent of IPv6 addresses have created a problem of scale. A routing policy rule for an IPv6 address has required two TCAM entries because the IPv6 addresses are bigger than IPv4 addresses, which require only one entry.
“Through software compression techniques we’re making sure IPv6 addresses are still one entry instead of two,” says Hull. “A lot of people have been trying to do this for a number of years. We have a practical implementation. This fixes a scale problem.”
In addition to more scale, Arista’s AlgoMatch can apply multiple policies, in series, on a single packet. And AlgoMatch also improves power efficiency.
“AlgoMatch is something you’re going to see across our portfolio in the coming year,” says Hull. “It’s tied currently on these new switches, but we intend to roll out on new switch families in the coming years.”