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Interop Feature Articles

May 09, 2011
Mellanox Unwraps World's First High Density, 36-Port 40 GbE Switches

For superior server and storage connectivity, end-to-end connectivity solutions provider Mellanox (News - Alert) Technologies has released high-density 10 and 40gigabit Ethernet (GbE) switches. The high density SX1000-series GbE switches are based on the company’s recently announced SwitchX switch silicon ICs. As a result, the SX-1000 series delivers up to 2.88 Tbps of switching in a single 1U device.

By leveraging company’s unique IC architecture, the SX1000 series GbE switches deliver industry-leading capabilities in bandwidth performance, density, scalability, latency (230 ns) and power, said the maker. When combined with additional peripherals, such as cables and quad-to-serial adapters (QSA), the SX-1000 switches allow for configurations as either 10 GbE or 40 GbE connections. The flexibility of server and uplink connectivity options provide improved efficiency, future proofing, and savings versus alternative 10 GbE solutions, said Mellanox.

To demonstrate the industry’s first complete end-to-end 40GbE fabric for superior application performance and system efficiency, Mellanox will combine the 1/10/40 GbE SX1036 switches with the company’s ConnectX-2 EN 40 G Ethernet NICs and QSFP copper and fiber cables and Unified Fabric Manager (UFM). The complete end-to-end 40 GbE fabric will be demonstrated this week at the Interop show in Las Vegas.

According to market research form Crehan Research, the 10 and 40 Gigabit data center Ethernet switch market is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 28 percent, from approximately $4 billion in 2010 to over $13 billion in 2015.

“Today’s scaled out data centers for internet commerce, Web 2.0 applications, hosting and business analytics require more powerful, flexible, high density fabrics that remove bottlenecks, accelerate applications and deliver efficiency, and still meet demanding economic constraints,” said John Monson, vice president of product marketing at Mellanox Technologies.

He added, “Mellanox’s SX1000-series of 10 and 40 GbE switches are optimized to meet these requirements with flexible configurations, a rich set of capabilities and best-in-class port density, latency, throughput and power.”

When using the SX-1000 family of switches in a 1,000-node configuration, data center operators can save up to 84 percent of the power, reduce rack space by 50 percent and consolidate up to 75 percent of inter-rack cables, claims Mellanox. The higher speed 40 GbE backbone overcomes common bottlenecks and network congestion caused by east/west traffic and storage, and provides up to 10x lower latencies, thus ensuring faster application performance, noted the manufacturer.

All SX1000-series of 10 and 40 GbE switches support reversed airflow adding flexibility for data centers with different thermal designs, and consist of redundant and hot-swappable fans and PSUs for higher availability. The SX1000 series is equipped with enhanced chassis management capabilities, supporting Web UI, industry-standard CLI and an impressive set of security features. The SX1000-series is also supported by Mellanox Unified Fabric Manager (UFM), which provides extensive end-to-end fabric orchestration and monitoring capabilities for virtualizing and scaling out data centers.

The SX-1000-series of 10 and 40 GbE switches will begin shipping to customers by the end of this quarter. MSRP pricing for the high density 40 GbE switch is approximately $1500 per port. 

Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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