Tuesday, March 04, 2008

10 gig ethernet and Force10

This morning was the first of the Root6 tech breakfasts where I had to wax lyrical about cat7 and OM3 fibre. I think it went down well. I got to chat to the guys from Force10 networks who we've recently started to represent in the infrastructure/chassis-switch market. They score over Cisco et al. in that the latency across their backplanes is considerably lower (typ. figure of 300nS for full stateful inspection and packet forwarding). The told me an interesting thing about Cisco - apparently none of their current 1gig and 10gig port offerings are non-blocking designs! They can't guarantee that their switches won't max-out under heavy load and start turning packets away! I couldn't believe it - if you've paid for n number of gig or 10-gig ports (which, at 10-gig is still around $1k per port) you expect n x 10gig of backplane bandwidth - not with Cisco. Everyone else - Extreme Networks, The Foundry, and of course Force10 promise this, but not Cisco.

Just imagine if Mr Probel sold you a video router and you discovered that it couldn't maintain 1.5Gbits of video per port for all ports simultaneously - you send it to the workshop for repair!

No comments: