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Cisco's a no show in the new Lippis 10/40GbE switch performance/power test report

"In the core switch market, there is only one company with high-density 40GbE, and that's Extreme BlackDiamond X8 with 192-40GbE."

Tue, 12/6/11 - 11:36pm    View comments

Update: 12/8/11

Official response from Extreme Networks

Nick LippisLast week Network World breathlessly reported:

Cisco a no show in 40G Ethernet market report

Somehow the Cisco Nexus 3016 switch was overlooked.

And then this week, the highly regarded network equipment test proctor - Nick Lippis, released the results of his new 125-page report:

The Lippis 10/40GbE switch performance and power test

Once again, Cisco was a no show!

According to Lippis:

"40GbE support as a downlink from ToR to End of Row (EoR) and in the core at density is here, ready and performs as advertised. In addition 40GbE cost is approximately 3 to 4 times that of 10GbE, making 40GbE favorable from a pricing point of view too. There are plenty of ToR switches that support multiple 40GbE options such as:

"In the core switch market, there is only one company with high-density 40GbE, and that's Extreme BlackDiamond X8 with 192-40GbE.

"But we expect at least four more high-density 40GbE core switches to be launched in 2012. Note, at times, we did observe some difficulty with preamble and equalization at the physical QSFP+ level causing packet loss, but this we mitigated through software control."

Cloud Simulation Core Switches
Source: The Lippis Report

Power Consumption Core Switches
Source: The Lippis Report

Official response from Extreme Networks

David GinsburgExtreme NetworksDavid Ginsburg - Chief Marketing Officer of Extreme Networks:

"Thank you Brad for the coverage and kind words. Extreme Networks sees the high density, low latency, energy efficiency, and network convergence provided by network platforms such as the 40 GbE BlackDiamond X8 switch as critical for the next evolution of cloud-scale and high-performance computing (HPC). In fact, even if Cisco was a 40 GbE no-show for the recent Lippis Report testing, Extreme Networks entirely agrees with its recent Cloud Index predictions. A rising cloud floats all boats, so to speak."

Ginsberg continued:

"The issues that our data center and hosted cloud customers are bringing to our attention are common within the industry, and focus on the TCO of the solution, including both the initial capital expense as well as ongoing operational expenses. Customers wish to wring costs out of the network, while increasing reliability and flexibility. When offering cloud-based services, their enterprise customers demand lower IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS pricing. A solution spans multiple, sometimes contentious topics:

  1. A single hardware and software architecture.

    "This data center architecture must support an evolution to what many are calling a fabric, a network that is flat, fully-meshed, optimized for east-west traffic flows, and offers a roadmap to 40 GbE and 100 GbE. And, though sometimes overlooked, a single end-to-end network OS in the data center introduces configuration, service, and maintenance efficiencies. It also provides a platform for increased intelligence and automation, moving the discussion beyond speeds and feeds.

  2. Standards-based, vs. a vendor-specific proprietary approach.

    "This is probably the most contentious area, generating many a blog pitting different Layer 2 and 3 approaches against one another. It also introduces Software Defined Networks (SDN), which may in some cases be enabled via OpenFlow depending upon the customer's business model or scalability requirements.

  3. Investment protection, permitting an incremental upgrade from existing infrastructure.

    "This contrasts to solutions that require investment in new ToR and EoR switches, or a totally new and unique management infrastructure.

  4. An open ecosystem, permitting choice in storage, compute, virtualization, and orchestration.

    "This is the basis of Extreme's Open Fabric architecture, an approach that was also highlighted by Gartner just this week at its Data Center conference held in Las Vegas. It brings the discussion full-circle back to minimizing TCO through vendor leverage."

In the below video, Extreme's director of product and technical marketing - Darius Goodall, speaks with Nick Lippis about the fastest switch ever, the Extreme BlackDiamond X8:


View the entire 125-page Lippis report as well as more Cisco vs. competitor lab tests.

Related stories:

Changing the conversation: It's solutions, not boxes, that matter to enterprises - Jean-Luc Ronarch

Grace Under Pressure - Lippis tests show 192 40GbE ports at wire speed with zero packets dropped

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