BradReese.Com Instant Quotes

Home About Repair Power Supplies Refurbished Blog Quick Links Site Map Contact Us

Brad Reese speaks out


Power Supplies

VoIP Gateways

Cisco Repair

Refurbished Cisco

Cisco CPQRGs

New Cisco

New HP ProCurve

Cisco Tools

Competitive Lab Tests

Tech Forums

How-to Tutorials

CCIE Gossip


View archive of Brad Reese speaks out

Subscribe to Brad Reese speaks out

Has feisty Arista delivered a knockout punch to Cisco with new 7124SX switch?
Tue, 3/15/11 - 12:01am    View comments

Arista Today, cloud networking and data center switching vendor - Arista Networks, will announce its new 7124SX switch, which Arista claims is the fastest switch in the world with standard SFP+ interfaces.

This switch is primarily positioned for financial firms doing electronic trading, high frequency trading, and stock exchanges where latency and deterministic performance matter and are key performance criteria.

Arista is not afraid to measure latency correctly

Arista is also announcing its Latency Analyzer (LANZ), a feature optimized to monitor and analyze network performance. Basically LANZ tracks congestion in real-time, and if thresholds are hit it captures the sources of the congestion to an onboard solid-state disk or other mount point (the Arista 7124SX can be configured with a 50GB onboard SSD). For the first time the network will be able to say when packets are lost, and what caused the congestion - no more hooking up a Sniffer and hoping the problem reappears (read what Arista partners are saying about the 7124SX).

Arista 7124SX: 24-port 10GbE 480Gbps switch

Cisco reportedly is developing the Nexus 3000, a Broadcom-based system that has variable latency from 700ns - 1.4usec and will call into question the future of the Nexus 5000 series as FCoE fails to take off in any significant deployments. This is very interesting given John Chamber's recent comments:

"You stayed on standalone switching? How do you have margins if you stay in merchant silicon? That's something anyone can sell."

Apparently Cisco needs to build products that anyone can sell as their recent earnings call revealed that they've appeared to have failed at selling value and transformation.

So I've got to ask, has little feisty Arista delivered a knockout punch to Cisco with its new 7124SX switch? Rememeber, 40-50% of GbE switches sold are still 24-port units, it's not all about density.

Afterall, isn't Cisco CEO John Chambers famous for saying?

"Where Wall Street goes is where the enterprise goes a few years later."

View the entire Arista product line.

The Arista 7124SX is a wire-speed, 24-port, L2/L3 switch supporting 100M, 1GbE and 10 GbE SFP+ based optics and cables in one rack unit, with a base price of $12,995 USD.

Arista is now adding a new customer per day and is the #2 provider of Fixed Configuration 10Gb Switches, at least according to Jayshree Ullal at the recent Pacific Crest Financial Conference:

Arista Networks Stats
Source: Arista Networks

NEW: Lowest Latency 10GbE SFP+ Switch
Source: Arista Networks

One interesting serviceability enhancement Arista made was identifying the hot-aisle and cold-aisle sides of the Arista switches with blue and red handles on the power supplies (as shown below). This is important since Arista supports reversible fan trays that enable the switch to be optimally deployed in either top-of-rack deployments, or with structured cabling or modular switches for cost-effective port fan-out:

71124SX Overview
Source: Arista Networks

The power draw number is based on 50% load factor and 25C ambient temperature, i.e. a reasonable baseline assumption. 5W per port is best-in-class power draw, especially considering the powerful x86 control plane, 4GB of DRAM, etc. that make these platforms long-lasting:

Arista 71124SX: Power/Environment
Source: Arista Networks

This is unique. Every other switch tested in the recent Lippis reports, Tolly Tests, etc. all increase latency as frame size goes up, ACLs are added, Layer-3 forwarding is turned on, Multicast forwarding is enabled, etc. This is as flat a latency chart can get with maximum variance of 40ns between best-case and worst-case:

Latency Characteristics
Source: Arista Networks

This is a diagram of a high performance electronic trading environment. Some customers are able to execute simple trading strategies with a 'tic-to-trade' of sub 5 microseconds using Arista switches, high performance servers, Solarflare NICs, and solid Linux stack optimizations. This means that while the first multicast raw market data feed frame maybe sitting inside the Cisco Catalyst 4900M, the Arista trading network has already sent an order to the matching engine. Speed wins - and there is no second place prize:

High Volume, Ultra Low-Latency Trading Design
Source: Arista Networks

Below is a characterization of the latency of the Arista 7124SX versus some recent competitors: The Juniper (based on Broadcom), the Brocade Layer-2 VDX, and the Cisco Nexus 5548 (soon to be obsoleted by the Nexus 3000, also Broadcom based):

Ultra-low Latency: Competitive landscape
Source: Arista Networks

Arista also claims to be the first vendor to put a significant amount of near-line storage on the Arista 7124SX. This 50GB SSD enables storing years of log files, 100s of thousands of LANZ entries, server boot images when integrating Chef or Puppet with the Arista 7124SX, or even storing control plane packet captures:

Industry First: Integrated SSD
Source: Arista Networks

An overview of Arista's broad portfolio of data center and cloud networking switches. From GbE to 10GBASE-T to 10GB SFP and the densest and highest-performance switches available, Arista claims to have introduced in a short-time the most focused and highest-performance switching portfolio available in the data center:

Arista Networks: The Best Data Center Portfolio
Source: Arista Networks

Related stories:

Cisco Nexus 5010 and 5020 vs. Arista 7124S and 7148SX competitive lab test

Cisco Nexus 5548P vs. Arista 7148SX, IBM BNT G8264 and Juniper EX4500 competitive lab test

Data centers: Cisco's multi-tier architecture vs. the Arista 2-tier cloud network

Cisco vs. Arista Networks, choosing Arista could save you $13.3 million

What's your take, do you think Arista has delivered a knockout punch to Cisco with its new 7124SX switch?

Contact Brad Reese

Subscribe to Brad Reese speaks out

Brad's Favorite Story Picks

  1. Half of Cisco's stock buybacks went to support Cisco's dilutive management compensation practices during Q2'FY11
  2. Fired top Cisco exec has been cleared of all criminal charges by court
  3. Cisco vs. D-Link, HP and NETGEAR competitive lab test
  4. Tax penalty claims against Cisco are growing at a staggering $11.7 million per day
  5. Did Cisco dump the ASA 5580 because of its HP heritage?
  6. Cisco's edge router market share has dropped a stunning -36%
  7. Network security will be the highest priority according to the 2011 IT spending intentions report
  8. Cisco's product gross margin dropped a whopping -10% over the past 5 quarters
  9. Cisco's Q2FY11 sales sequentially declined in collaboration, other, routers, security, switches and total sales
  10. Inactive Cisco CCIEs are growing at an 81% faster percentage growth rate than active Cisco CCIEs
  11. Cisco's trademarks are thriving as third-party domain names
  12. Cisco's Randy Pond slams U.S. suppliers while favoring suppliers overseas
  13. Has the Cisco CRS-3 caused network outages at both Comcast and AT&T?
  14. Cisco's the worst performing stock on the world famous Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)
  15. Download for FREE - Enterprise Application Firewalls for Dummies
  16. A whopping 75% of Cisco's new job creation was in locations outside the United States
  17. HP networking Cisco trade-in program - A Catalyst for Change
  18. Cisco's SP edge router market share down -12% since 2005
  19. HP E5400 zl and HP 8200 zl switches vs. Cisco Catalyst 3750-X and 4500 switches
  20. View archive of Brad Reese speaks out
blog comments powered by Disqus

Brad Reese music work ambience

Supplement Cisco SMARTnet Contracts


©2011 BradReese.Com - Home - About - Repair - Power Supplies - Refurbished - Blog - Quick Links - Site Map - Contact Us