Start-up Arista offers copper 10G data center switches

By , Network World |  Networking, arista networks, Ethernet switch

Arista Networks today announced 10GBASE-T switches in a 1RU form factor, and could be first to market with a 48-port version.

The Arista 7100T Layer 2/3 switches include 24 and 48-port models. Each offers auto-negotiating 1/10GBASE-T ports with RJ-45 connectors and SFP+ uplink ports.

Arista is a data center switch start-up launched by Sun Microsystems founder Andy Bechtolsheim and headed by former Cisco executive Jayshree Ullal. Its first product – the SFP+-based 7100S switches -- shipped a year ago

Positioned for top-of-rack data center server access, the 7100T switches offer backwards compatibility with standard Gigabit Ethernet cabling and investment protection as customers migrate from Gigabit to 10 Gigabit Ethernet, Arista says.

The Arista 7100T switches support 10GBASE-T over Category 6a cabling up to 100 meters, but also support Category 5e and Category 6 cabling with distances up to 55 meters, allowing companies to use already installed cabling, Arista says.

The switches will go up against 24-port 10GBASE-T offerings from Extreme Networks. Other 24- and 48-port 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches from leading manufacturers – including Brocade's TurboIron 24X, Cisco's Nexus 5000 and Catalyst 4900M, and Force10's S2410 -- are SFP+-based.

The Arista 7100T switches are currently in field trials. Production units will be available in the third quarter. They cost about $500 to $600 per port, similar to Brocade's TurboIron 24X and less than Extreme's 10GBASE-T X650, which costs $800 per port.

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