Gnodal to sell high performance switches

A British-based company has become the latest manufacturer to release a top-of-rack switch.

But Gnodal Ltd. believes its custom ASIC (application specific integrated circuit)  that offer low latency will distinguish the box from others.

Gnodal, which has a North American headquarters in Paolo, Alto, Calif., will release its GS line of 1U switches before the end of June, targeting those needing high performance devices in data centres such as the oil and gas industries, financial services companies and Internet providers.

According to Jim Preasmyer, the company’s vice-president of global sales and marketing, it is actively looking for Canadian system integrators to carry the line.

“By the time we get to product [release], I would expect we would have a vehicle to sell into the Canadian marketplace,” he said Monday.

There are three models in the company’s first line: the GS7200, with 72 ports of 10 Gigabit Ethernet SFP+. They can also be aggregated as 40 GbE links; the GS4008, with 40 ports of 10 GbE and eight 40 GbE QSFP ports; and the GS0018, with eighteen 40 GbE QSFP ports.

They will be priced at under US$500 a 10Gb port, or less than US$36,000 a box, Preasmyer said.

The company said its chips deliver 1.5 Terabits of non-blocking, low latency switching to minimize network congestion. Port to port latency is 150 nanoseconds, Preasmyer said. Adding a second switch increases latency by only 66 nanoseconds.

“That allows us to build very large fabrics with minimal latency,” he said.

Gnodal was founded in 2007 by staffers who had worked at another British company, Quadrics, which made supercomputer interconnects. But the switches used merchant silicon that created latency problems, Preasmyer said.

To solve that the Gnodal staff decided to design their own chips.

“We built this from the ground up with the goal of developing low latency fabric that can scale to thousands of ports,” he said.

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