Arista adds Gigabit Ethernet switch to lineup


Arista Networks, which has been selling 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches for just under two years, has expanded into the Gigabit Ethernet market.

This week the company unvieled its model 7048 multi-layer switch with 48 RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet ports and four 1/10Gb Ethernet uplinks. Together they deliver up to 40 gigabits of interconnect capacity to the spine of the network, the company said.

“While the 10 Gig to the server market is growing very fast, [one] Gig to the server is still the primary connection speed of choice,”  Mark Foss, the Menlo Park, Calif., company’s director of channel marketing said in an interview.

“Also, we wanted to solve some of the existing Gigabit Ethernet switch problems. If you look at GigE switches from other vendors, they’ve been designed for enterprises or SMBs. We’ve designed this one specifically for the data centre.”

The US$11,995 switch can handle up to 176 Gpbs throughput, he said, while its 768 MB of buffer memory maintains performance as traffic increases. All ports can simultaneously buffer up to 50ms of traffic. In addition the switch has integrated Citrix’s NetScaler VPX software for load balancing and application security.

Its 1U configuration has front-to-rear and reversible airflow options for flexible mounting, and hot swappable, redundant power supplies and fans.

Like the Arista 7100 series, the 7048 runs on the company’s Linux-based Extensible Operating System (EOS) that can be upgraded while the switch is running. The software can also be customized.

Foss said target customers include high performance computing industries such as financial services, energy companies, government and health and medical services as well as Web hosting providers

The company faces considerable competition in the data centre switch market, including Cisco Systems Inc. To counter that, “we sell ourselves as best of breed,” Foss said, emphasizing the high availability of the switches, as well as the ability to customize the operating system.

Arista has a small number of channel partners in Canada, including Azuris Technologies Inc. of Montreal and Scalar Decisions Inc. of Toronto. Foss said Arista wants to increase that number.