Why the Nexus® 9000 Switching Series Offers the Highest Availability and Reliability Measured in MTBF

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November 6th, 2013

By Nick Lippis

At the Open Networking User Group (ONUG) this past October 29th and 30th, hosted by JPMorgan Chase in New York City and attended by over 500 influential IT and industry business leaders, virtualized networking overlays and the need for high performance plus reliable underlays was top of mind. With 2014 and 2015 being the years of open networking pilots and deployments, respectively, much focus was on high-density 40GbE spine switches from Cisco’s Nexus® 9000 series, Arista’s 7500E and HP’s 11900/12900. At ONUG, IT leaders expressed multiple drivers for high-density 40GbE spine switches, including connecting thousands to hundreds of thousands of servers at 10GbE, support for IP storage and the high-growth of virtual connectivity via network overlays, all over a high-performance and highly reliable underlay. In this Lippis Report Research Note we explore the three reference designs for building 288-40GbE spine switches based upon Broadcom Dune, Broadcom Trident II and the new hybrid, custom plus merchant silicon, with an eye toward reliability and available based upon component count and measured in terms of Mean Time Between Failure.