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The Wall Street Journal reports that Cisco is going to announce new ‘low latency’ networking gear, Nexus 3548 on Wednesday that targets Arista Networks. It’s expected that the Cisco switches will use internally designed ASICs instead of merchant silicon.
At the same time, the Journal reports that Arista is set to offer an updated line of switches on Wednesday that are expected to at least match and possibly exceed the new Cisco offering in speed which are based on the Intel Fulcrum chips.
As details about both products are expected to be released on Wednesday — we’ll learn what exactly they can do at what price points.
For the SDN Community a few things are clear:
- The Datacenter Ethernet Switching battle just got a lot more interesting. At SDNCentral, we expect there to be more datacenter ethernet switching announcements by other vendors in coming weeks / months. This should also remind the datacenter SDN startups that there are some very big company hyper-focued on this market. If I was a prospective customer considering Pluribus, Cumulus, or Plexxi – I’d be taking a serious look at both the expected Arista and Cisco platforms. (If you want to learn more about another datacenter battle, check our post about the vSwitch)
- SDN officially moves beyond the research use-cases and into commercialization: Many of us (myself included) have been following and waiting for almost 4 years for the Fulcrum FM6000 chips to ship — if the Journal is correct about Arista using Fulcrum — then this is a big milestone as that chip offers a level of functionality in silicon that was previously unavailable to application vendors. Application developers can develop SDN applications that solve real problems.
- What level of SDN will the Nexus 3548 support: Will it support OpenFlow? Can app developers access the control plane via OnePK? Will it have the features promised by Fulcrum, like NAT or IP Rewrite.