Interop 2010 Show Winners

This year's competition shines a light on the very best that IT vendors have to offer in cloud computing, network management, security, virtualization, wireless, and more. We also picked a top startup and gave out a green award.
Best of Interop

Arista Networks -- Arista 7500

Bigger and faster is the hallmark of any data center switch. Typically data center switch architectures comprised half- and full-rack-sized switch chassis that aggregate end-of-row or top-of-rack switches, which might also be aggregated making three hops from server to core. Arista's 7500 radically increases capacity with a 10-Tb backplane in a compact form factor. This switch represents the type of core data center switch you'll be running in a few years: high capacity, low latency, low power draw and small form factor.

The 7500 packs 384 non-blocking 10-GB ports with 4.5 microseconds of delay into a 11RU chassis. Priced at $140,000, it's a high-capacity, low-cost switch. The 7500 is DCB ready so and can support Ethernet and Fibre Channel over Ethernet. In addition, each blade comes with 2.4 GB of frame buffer to queue frames in the event of congestion. That's enough buffer space to queue up 50 ms of 10-Gb traffic per port. No worries about dropped frames.

The 7500 is a modular switch, so you can add capacity as you need it, and the switch uses the same extensible operating system across all of its switching products for simple management. The capacity of the 7500 means you can remove switching tiers that were required to aggregate traffic to a core switch, attach to a single access tier and then move right to the core. If you have the cabling, you can remove the access tier altogether.

Face it, with virtualization, your data center looks less like a server farm and more like an high-performance computing cluster. That requires a switching infrastructure and can move large amounts of data quickly and reliably. The Arista 7500 has the horsepower and that's why it won Best of Interop.

-- Mike Fratto