Arista joins Juniper, Cisco in 400G Ethernet race

Arista joined the parade toward high-speed Ethernet with new switches capable of supporting 400G speeds and aimed at hyperscale cloud and data-center networks.

The Arista 7060X4 Series platforms are based on the Broadcom 12.8Tbps Tomahawk 3 silicon and feature 32 400G ports. Each 400G port can be split into four 100G ports for a total of 128 100G ports in a 1U chassis. Arista also enhanced its EOS operating system to better support traffic management, load balancing, buffering and routing for the high-speed boxes.  

Over time, Ethernet speed transitions have been the primary driver for improving both the throughput and price-performance of data-center networks. 400G Ethernet is the next major transition on this journey, Andreas Bechtolsheim, Arista’s chief development officer, wrote in a blog about the announcement.

“While 100G Ethernet is still ramping up rapidly this year and next, it is projected that by the end of 2021 400G Ethernet will represent the majority of Ethernet bandwidth shipped,” he wrote.

But some analysts were quick to temper some of the 400G hype. 

“This is true bleeding edge stuff at this point and 400G Ethernet is still blindingly expensive,” said Lee Doyle, principal analyst with Doyle Research. “Very few users will need it soon – but those who do will be very large –  hyperscalers or financial firms.”

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