Arista Rolls Out Fast, Dense Networking Switch for Cloud, Big Data

The vendor's 7500E switch can scale to more than 100,000 servers and millions of virtual machines, key for cloud and big data tasks, officials say.

Arista Networks is launching what officials said is the industry's fastest data center switch that will help enterprises and service providers scale their networks to more than 100,000 servers.

Three years after releasing the 7500 switch, Arista officials are rolling out the 7500E, which offers 10 Gigabit Ethernet, 40GbE and 100GbE ports and significant improvements in bandwidth, power efficiency and number of ports over its predecessor. It can also scale to millions of virtual machines, all of which will enable businesses to run network-intensive cloud, big data, storage and Web 2.0 workloads.

"The real story of the 7500E is that it enables customers to build a universal cloud networking infrastructure for the worldʼs largest data centers that can handle even the most demanding workloads with ease," Andy Bechtolsheim, founder, chairman and chief development officer for Arista, said in a May 1 post on the company's blog.

With the growth in such trends as cloud computing, virtualization and big data, enterprises and service providers are demanding networks that not only can run the workloads, but also are flexible, scalable and more easily programmable. Vendors are pushing to meet those demands with faster and denser switches, networking fabrics and software-defined networking (SDN) technologies.

Most recently, both Hewlett-Packard and Brocade on April 30 rolled out new networking technologies—including switches, virtual products and software—designed to support SDN, make networks more dynamic and scalable, and enable businesses to more easily and quickly run network-intensive workloads.

Data center demand is driving growth in an Ethernet switch market that reached $21 billion last year, with 10GbE revenue growing more than 50 percent, according to analysts at Dell'Oro Group. Vendors and industry analysts expect to see demand for 10GbE to continue to ramp while businesses also continue to eye 40GbE and, after that, 100GbE.

Arista officials are looking to the 7500E to give customers a wide range of options for scalable networks. The 7500E switch offers 1,152 10GbE, 288 40GbE or 96 100GbE ports, and at 30 terabits per second is three times faster than the 7500 switch. In addition, it's three times as energy efficient, at less than 4 watts per 10GbE port, and offers the industry's first triple-speed 10/40/100GbE line card, according to company officials. The 7500E fits into the same chassis as the 7500.

"The extraordinary performance of the 7500E platform gives customers the flexibility and freedom to implement 10/40/100G cloud-scale networks simply not practical previously," Bechtolsheim wrote.

Arista officials also noted additions in the company's EOS networking operating system that bring in more SDN features, including precise traffic monitoring with Arista technologies and wirespeed VXLAN gateways for multi-tenant network virtualization, along with features for faster convergence in big data analytics and Hadoop applications and workload mobility and virtualization in VMware and OpenStack clouds.

The 7500E switches and line-card modules are available now, starting at $99,995 for the switch and $10,000 per 100GbE port, $2,200 per 40GbE port and less than $600 per 10GbE port.