Open Industry Network Performance and Power Test for Cloud Networks Evaluating 10/40 GbE Switches

Get the White Paper

July 23rd, 2013

By Lippis/Ixia

The latest Lippis/Ixia open industry test of ToR and Core data center switches was tested at Ixia’s iSimCity during the spring of 2013, and its results can be downloaded here. We tested for performance via RFC and real-world cloud traffic plus power consumption. Each vendor is provided with the report ending section being a cross-vendor evaluation. Participating suppliers are:

Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitch 10K
Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitch 6900-40X
Arista 7504 Series Data Center Switch
Arista 7124SX 10G SFP Data Center Switch
Arista 7150S-24 10G SFP Data Center Switch
Arista 7050S-64 10/40G Data Center Switch
IBM RackSwitchTM G8124E
IBM RackSwitchTM G8264 upgraded
IBM RackSwitchTM G8316
Brocade VDXTM 6720-24 Data Center Switch
Brocade VDXTM 6730-32 Data Center Switch
Brocade VDXTM 8770 Data Center Switch
Extreme Networks BlackDiamond. X8
Extreme Networks Summit. X670V
Dell Force10 S-Series S4810
Juniper Network EX Series EX8200 Ethernet Switch

Lippis Report 211: Cisco’s Catalyst 6800 Adds another Ten Years to Catalyst 6500 Series

July 22nd, 2013

nicklippis.jpgBack in December of 2012, we published a research note titled “Why Cisco’s Catalyst 6500 Series Will Be Around in 2025.” While it was, and still is, a bold prediction, Cisco’s latest Catalyst introduction, the Catalyst 6800, provides yet another proof point that this prediction will be reality. Modular switches are big IT investments, with longevity assumed in the purchase. Cisco communicates longevity by continuing to invest in research and development, adding platform value with backward compatibility of previous investments to migrate forward—that is, no forklift upgrades and extracts maximum value from past purchases, delivering investment protection and trust. Cisco does this better than most and is rewarded for the design philosophy. Consider that the Catalyst 6500 is the most deployed campus backbone switch. Cisco’s investing hundreds of million of dollars on a Catalyst innovation roadmap with the 6800 being the latest result of this investment. In this Lippis Report Research Note, we review the Catalyst 6800 and reiterate that this Catalyst will be in operation well into 2025.
Read the rest of this entry »

Lippis Report 206: What the Market Said about SDN at the Open Networking User Group

March 25th, 2013

nicklippis.jpgOpen Networking User Group (ONUG) meeting in Boston that we organized with partner Fidelity Investments. ONUG was a first for many reasons, but the biggest contributor to its success was its Board and the fact that the conference was closed to press, vendors and any recording. The ONUG Board, made up of chief network architects of the largest financial and retail concerns, developed ONUG sessions plus invited 10 pre-IPO firms to demonstrate their SDN solutions. The fact that the audience of 180 IT executives was able to openly discuss their open networking challenges, successes and hopes created a special mystique. Jayson Noland, Managing Director, Senior Analyst of Robert W. Baird, described the mystique best:

“There’s talk about standards and consortium, and what was apparent at ONUG is that there are very innovative early adopter IT leaders who will drive the market and determine the speed and success of true network transformation.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Lippis Report 204: The Open Networking User Group – The Key End User Event of 2013

January 7th, 2013

For the past nine months, I’ve had the pleasure of working with a group of IT architects from Fidelity, Goldman Sachs, UBS and Gap Inc. to develop the industry’s first Open Networking User Group or ONUG. This work has come to fruition with the Lippis Report’s first ONUG meeting hosted by Fidelity Investments on February 13th in Boston. The ONUG board developed topics to be explored, hand-picked speakers who are IT architects with SDN experience, chose 10 start-ups to demonstrate their open networking value and sent colleagues personal invitations. The result is that ONUG will be the biggest, most exclusive and important event for IT executives in 2013. Here’s why:

Read the rest of this entry »

Lippis Report 203: Why Cisco’s Catalyst 6500 Series Will Be Around in 2025?

December 5th, 2012

Cisco’s Catalyst 6500 series is by far the most popular switching platform in the history of computer networking. Consider that the Catalyst 6500 has generated more than $45B in cumulative revenue for Cisco, thanks to its large footprint of close to 800,000 systems, 110 million ports shipped thus far to some 45,000 customers. Some deployments are as big as 4,000 Catalyst 6500 switches large! Factor in an installed base 20 times bigger than its nearest competitor with the resources to deliver long-term service and support, and the best analogy to describe the Catalyst 6500 is that of Boeing’s airplanes. Airlines upgrade from 737 to 747 to 757 and 777 as they grow and improve their service, maintaining operational consistency, quality and investment protection of training plus supply chain. In short, Boeing builds platforms that last, creating trust between airlines and Boeing. So, too, is Cisco’s Catalyst 6500 because Cisco is investing hundreds of million of dollars on a roadmap innovation with investment protection. We predict that the Catalyst 6500 will be in operation well into 2025. In this Lippis Report Research Note, we explain why.

Read the rest of this entry »

Lippis Report 201: What Comes After Zero Latency Switching?

November 5th, 2012

During mid-September 2012, Arista Networks and Cisco Systems launched what both claimed to be the industry’s lowest latency switches aimed at big data, cloud, Web 2.0 and high frequency trading markets. Both products are Top of Rack (ToR), 10 and 40GbE switches. Arista’s is based upon merchant silicon, while Cisco utilized custom ASIC. Arista’s 7150 Series claims 10 and 40GbE, 350 nanoseconds Layer 2 or 3 forwarding, VXLAN support and what it calls “flexible forwarding.” Cisco’s Nexus 3548 claims 10GbE, 250ns to 190ns Layer 2 or 3 forwarding, and Cisco Algorithm Boost or Algo Boost technology. At 10GbE speeds, a bit is 1/10 of a nanosecond long, so Arista’s 7150 and Cisco’s 3548 switches delay is 3500 and 2500 or 1900 bits, respectively. That is, these products offer processing delays equal to the time it takes a few thousands of bits to traverse a simple metallic or optical wire at 10Gbs! In this Lippis Report, we review Arista’s and Cisco’s new ToR switches and answer the question: what comes after zero latency switching?

Read the rest of this entry »

Lippis Report 188: Cisco Deepens the Visibility and Control Attributes of the SecureX Framework to Deliver Context-Aware Mitigation

March 20th, 2012

SecureX is the network security framework that Cisco launched last year. The company has now deepened SecureX to bolster its ability to provide SecOps greater visibility of applications and network traffic, and control of network security resources to mitigate exploits faster and more effectively by providing context- aware security information brought on by Bring Your Own Device or BYOD plus cloud computing applications and services. Cisco achieves this through its new ASA-CX Context-Aware Security capabilities, expanded support for Security Group Tagging or SGT within TrustSec enabled devices, and the addition of device profiling functionality in the IOS of its routers, switches and wireless access points. All of this security technology works with its Identity Services Engine or ISE—Cisco’s identity and access control policy platform.

Read the rest of this entry »

Lippis Report 187: Software-Defined Networking Needs a Bigger Definition

February 28th, 2012

There are multiple definitions of Software-Defined Networking or SDN. But this is common in a new breakout space for the computer networking industry that’s evolving fast. The most common SDN definition is based upon splitting the data plane or the forwarding hardware of an Ethernet switch from its control plane or the logic that controls how packets flow from ingress to egress. But this definition alone is too limited and needs to be expanded. In this Lippis Report Research Note, we offer the industry a broader SDN definition and view.

Read the rest of this entry »

Lippis Report 186: UC SME Market Heats Up with New Announcements from Avaya and Siemens

February 14th, 2012

The Unified Communications market has twisted and turned over the past eighteen months, thanks to mobile and cloud computing plus the huge uptick in web plus video collaboration. This market has recovered from the 2009/2010 downturn with a gusto as providers expand UC to include collaboration and mobile platforms while targeting the red hot Small- to Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) market that consist of some seven million employees. With only a third of SMEs having a communication strategy plus less than a quarter with a deployed UC solution, the SME market is huge and wide open. In this Lippis Report Research Note, we take a look at Avaya’s and Siemens’ new UC offering for the SME market from a traditional voice vendor perspective and explore non-traditional SME offerings from Apple, Google, Facebook, Cisco, Microsoft, et al.

Read the rest of this entry »

Lippis Report 185: Why Software-Defined Networking and Virtualized Networking Are Inexplicably Linked

January 29th, 2012

Computer networking vendors have been increasing the speed and port density of their Ethernet switches while reducing power draw and price per port. But while Ethernet switching hardware marches on linearly, thanks to 10, 40 and 100GbE, networking software is taking a different historical path as the pace of compute and network technology evolution has diverged, with networking lagging. Highly virtualized server deployment has broken traditional networking approaches on multiple levels, for example. In response, the industry is now developing a “virtualized infrastructure” or “stack” to add network flexibility. To close the technology gap, Software-Defined Networking (SDN) is promoted as the new “organizing principle” to deliver network software and service value. While it will be, likely, years before SDN’s organizing principles take hold, I propose that these two industry activities are inexplicably linked and phased; here’s why…

Read the rest of this entry »

Lippis Report 184: Network Services to Differentiate Next Generation of Campus Core Switches

January 9th, 2012

During the middle of 2012, a few firms will introduce core switches for campus networking. Many of these products will be based upon merchant silicon such as HP Networking’s A10500 Series Enterprise Core Switch. While these products will boast performance advantage, they will find it difficult to win share against established firms such as Cisco’s Catalyst 6500, thanks to its investment in network services. In this Lippis Report Research Note 184, we explore the importance of network services and their role in campus network design.

Read the rest of this entry »

Lippis Report 183: 2012 Predictions

December 20th, 2011

In this Lippis Report Research Note 183, we provide our very popular annual top 10 2012 industry predictions that were provided by Andre Kindness, senior analyst at Forrester Research, Nick Lippis, CEO of Lippis Enterprises, and Zeus Kerravala, principal at ZK Research. We take a look into the year ahead and provide our view as to what will come to pass. This Research Note is based upon the “2012 Networking Industry Predictions” Lippis Report podcast.

The following are our top 10 2012 Networking Industry Predictions.

Read the rest of this entry »

Lippis Report 182: Top 10 Findings: The Cloud Network Industry Test of 10/40GbE Fabrics

December 5th, 2011

The Fall 2011 Open Industry Network Performance and Power Test Report is now available. Since our Spring 2011 test, we added four products from three vendors to the 11 products from eight vendors already tested. We now have data on 15 data center switching products from nine vendors in the new report to be released after Thanksgiving. Our cloud networking test of 10 and 40GbE is now the industry benchmark for cloud networking. In fact, only those companies that are sure of their product(s) enter the test at Ixia’s iSimCity. We found that 40GbE is hard, and thus you have to give credit to the vendors that go through the testing—in this test, those vendors are Extreme Networks, Brocade and Alcatel-Lucent. These firms have high performance data center switching product that is Enterprise and Cloud service provider ready. In this Lippis Report Research Note, we share our the top 10 findings from this round of testing. Lippis Report subscribers can download the 125-page report here, free of charge.

Read the rest of this entry »

Lippis Report 181: Early Results of the Lippis Report Open Industry Cloud Network Evaluation of 10/40Gbps Ethernet Fabrics at Ixia’s iSimCity

November 7th, 2011

During the weeks of October 10 and October 31, 2011, at Ixia’s iSimCity, the Lippis Report conducted its third industry test of cloud networking data center switches operating at 10 and 40GbE. In just six short months, the industry has moved forward by breaking all previous records of data center switch speed, power consumption, port density and bandwidth. We added four products from three vendors to the eleven products from eight vendors already tested. We now have data on fifteen data center switching products from nine vendors in the new report to be released after Thanksgiving. During May 2011 Interop, we had eleven vendors provide verbal commitment to participate in this Fall industry test (remember it is free for vendors to submit products to test). As the deadline for signed agreements came, this field of eleven dropped to three because their products were simply not ready. 40GbE is hard, and thus you have to give credit to the vendors that go through the testing—in this test, those vendors are Extreme Networks, Brocade and Alcatel-Lucent. These firms have high performance data center switching product that is Enterprise and Cloud service provider ready. In this Lippis Report Research Note, we share our insights gained from testing all these products and provide the topic cloud networking industry trends taking shape now.

Read the rest of this entry »