Mellanox Spectrum: World’s First 25/100 Gigabit Open Ethernet Switch

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MellanoxToday Mellanox announced the industry’s first 100 Gigabit Ethernet, Open Ethernet-based, non-blocking switch. Spectrum, the next generation of its Open Ethernet-based switch IC, overcomes current data center challenges by providing a highly flexible and scalable solution that allows businesses to deploy the hardware-software combinations best suited to meet their unique needs. With Spectrum, Mellanox is the first to offer end-to-end 10/25/40/50 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity.

With the exponential growth of data, the need for increased bandwidth, flexibility, and scalability becomes a necessity to stay competitive,” said Gilad Shainer, vice president of marketing at Mellanox Technologies. “Spectrum, the newest edition to our Open Ethernet switch portfolio, enables our customers and users with the highest flexibility, performance and scalability. With Spectrum, data centers can migrate from 10 to 25, or from 40 to 50 or 100 Gigabit Ethernet, and be able to keep up with the escalating network demands for data retrieval and processing.”

Computing and storage infrastructures have reached a critical point due to the convergence of dozens of industry trends pushing them to the brink as data sets grow exponentially and threatening the unique competitive differentiator of many businesses. Commonly deployed closed-solutions, those that require the use of proprietary hardware- software combinations, leave many organizations unable to optimize their data centers to meet their business needs, making it difficult to garner actionable insights from expanding data sets. Based on the Open Ethernet architecture, Spectrum offers Mellanox’s customers the choice of Application Programming Interface (API) for faster time-to-market and greater flexibility, while also providing industry-leading 25, 50 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet performance, ensuring the data centers can drive their business forward.

Spectrum continues Mellanox’s Ethernet interconnect leadership, delivering non- blocking 6.4Tb/s full wire speed switching and routing capacity with industry-leading latency and lowest power consumption. Spectrum is the world’s first non-blocking 100 Gigabit Ethernet switch, and its deterministic zero packet loss performance and mega scale make it the most efficient building block for cloud, Web 2.0 and enterprise applications, processing and fulfilling requests in real-time. As a founding member of the 25G Ethernet Consortium, Mellanox’s Spectrum switch leads the transition to enhanced intra-rack connectivity of 25Gb/s and 50Gb/s to the servers.

Data center operators are embracing Software Defined Networking (SDN) to achieve scalability and agility, by leveraging full, centralized visibility and traceability of the network. Spectrum provides an advanced monitoring interface for continuous tracking of bandwidth and congestion, and programmable load balancing capabilities to resolve congestion swiftly and efficiently. Flow-based policy enforcement is accomplished with a flexible pipeline through protocols such as OpenFlow, without compromising performance, and allowing virtually unlimited sequential policies on a flow.

The Mellanox Spectrum switch is the latest 100Gb/s device to support the disaggregated model of Open Networking, allowing end-users the ability to choose the best hardware and the best software for their needs without vendor lock in,” said Carlos Cardenas, co- project lead of Open Compute Project’s (OCP) network group. “All of this is facilitated by using the OCP Open Network Install Environment (ONIE) and the OCP Switch Abstraction Interface (SAI).”

Mellanox is the first company to open-source its switch Software Development Kit (SDK) API, and, as a co-author of the Switch Abstraction Interface (SAI) specification at the Open Compute Project, Mellanox offers a full SAI API layer. Fast software integration can also leverage the integrated ONIE support.

Spectrum Key Features

  • Compliant with 100GbE, 40GbE and 10GbE. Full support for the 25G and 50G Ethernet Consortium specification. Full support for 56GbE operation
  • Integrated 32 100GbE ports, 32 40/56GbE ports, 64 10GbE ports, 64 25GbE ports and 64 50GbE ports.
  • World first non-blocking 100GbE switch across all packet sizes
  • Lowest power consumption: 135W at full 100GbE line rate on all ports.
  • Supports twice the number of Virtual Machines versus competition
  • Sub 300ns cut-through port-to-port latency in full load scenarios.
  • Overlay gateway and tunneling support, including VXLAN, NVGRE, Geneve,
    MPLS, IPinIP
  • Integrated, dynamically-configurable packet buffer
  • Embedded low-latency RoCEv2 support for high performance storage and
    compute fabrics

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