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Arista 7500: A New Switch is Born!

Jayshree Ullal
by Jayshree Ullal on May 10, 2010 1:02:59 AM

In my networking career I have been involved in a few generations of switches spanning multiple decades. The goal has always been a next generation Ethernet speed transition; from 10/100 Megabit in the nineties to 1 Gigabit in the new millennium and now 10 Gigabit in the new decade. Each Ethernet speed transition saw the introduction of switching platforms with larger capacity, wire speed throughput and higher port densities that expedited each transition.

History of Modular Switches:
To appreciate the significance of Arista’s 7500, lets take a walk down memory lane and reflect on the evolution of LAN switching.

The early generation of modular LAN Ethernet switching chassis- way back in 1995 was the introduction of Cisco’s Catalyst 5000 that set new records at 240 Megabits per slot and an aggregate capacity of 1.2Gbps. It accelerated the migration from shared hubs to 10/100 Megabit LAN switching. It validated Ethernet as the mainstream technology for the LAN, despite alternatives such as Token Ring, ATM and FDDI. At that time, achieving 1 million packets per second throughput was considered a performance feat and it established Cisco as a serious switching entrant. Cisco’s follow-on was the Catalyst 6500 series - a modular switching favorite for many enterprises in 1999 and beyond.

Many chassis switches have since been introduced with incremental bandwidth claims. Yet none have truly addressed the data center deployment trend of 10 Gigabit Ethernet for dense cloud computing in terms of port density, performance, scale and power usage. The industry craves for the next wave of revolutionary metrics in 10GbE switching.

Worlds Fastest & Greenest Ethernet Switch:
My bet for the new decade is: The Arista 7500. The introduction of Arista’s 7500 series is transformational as it ups the ante in just about every single modular 10GbE switching metric:

  • Five times the density(1536 ports in 44RU) and performance (5.76Bilion PPS L2/L3 throughput)
  • 1/10th the power-draw at 10 Watts typical per 10GbE port
  • Half of the footprint - 11RU with 10 Terabits of Capacity

In light of many break-through advantages the Arista 7500 brings to the market, contrasting these metrics to today’s shipping products is revealing.

Comparing Modular Metrics:

Characteristics Arista 7500 Classical Alternatives Ratios
Chassis Height 11RU 21-33RU 0.5X
Bandwidth/Slot 648Gbps 80-200Gbps 5X
Bandwidth/Chassis 10 Tbps 1-2.5 Tbps 4-6X
Non Blocking 10Gb L2/L3 Ports/Slot 48 8 6X
L2/L3 Line Rate 10G Ports 384 64 6X
Power/Chassis 3.8 KW 7KW 0.6X
Power/10G Port <10W >100W 0.1


Design Excellence:

We are proud to set the bar for the next frontier in the data center industry with the world’s fastest Ethernet switch. Our customers and prospects seeking a credible data center switching alternative now have one with the Arista 7500. Traffic patterns of applications such as high frequency trading, health care research, exploratory geophysics, IP/storage access, on-line Web2.0, streaming video origination, or Internet gaming demand an order-of-magnitude improvement in latency, non-blocking capacity and wirespeed throughput. As legacy networks transition from north-south email to balanced application-focused performance, the need for a proper cloud networking infrastructure becomes vital. A two-tier cloud network that scales 10,000+ nodes for dense computing and virtualization without the perils of high latency and over-subscription is now possible.

The design of the Arista 7500 was achieved via a balanced combination of large buffering, wirespeed 1/10/40/100GbE throughput and a Low Latency Virtual Output Queuing (LL-VOQ) fabric design for lossless forwarding and high availability. Arista engineers have been working on this thoughtful architecture for 2+ years and have achieved a feat of systems excellence. The Arista 7500 spine for aggregation together with Arista 7100 leaf switches brings unmatched scale for cloud computing with a common EOS image. The Arista 7500 has received very prestigious awards - as the Grand Prize Winner for 'Best of Interop 2010' and also a winner in the infrastructure category. It has also been validated independently by EANTC for key RFC compliance and has already been deployed at customer sites in production environments.

I am pleased to unveil the next generation of modular switching to the industry! Welcome to the new era and decade of 10GbE modular switches and cloud networking. As always I welcome your comments at feedback@arista.com


References:
7500 Web Site

Customer Testimonials

The 2010 Best of Interop Grand Prize Winner

Opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the original authors, not of Arista Networks. The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be an endorsement or representation by Arista Networks or any other party.
Jayshree Ullal
Written by Jayshree Ullal
As President and CEO of Arista for a decade, Jayshree Ullal is responsible for Arista’s business and thought leadership in cloud networking. She led the company to a historic and successful IPO in June 2014 from zero to a multibillion dollar business. Formerly Jayshree was Senior Vice President at Cisco, responsible for a $10B business in datacenter, switching and services. With more than 30 years of networking experience, she is the recipient of numerous awards including E&Y’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” in 2015 and Barron’s “World’s Best CEOs” in 2018.

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