Saturday, 18th September 2021
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Aristarchus launches low latency switch

A full-featured Layer 2/3 switch, tuned for low latency using FPGA programmability.

Arista Networks has launched SwitchApp for Arista 7130, a new ultra-low latency switch that cuts latency to less than a third of existing Arista solutions. SwitchApp is based on the latest programmable FPGA technology and is fully integrated with Arista EOS®(Extensible Operating System). The combination of these technologies allows customers to access financial markets with extraordinary speed, leveraging the flexibility of a full-featured Layer 2/3 switch and the latency of a highly tuned solution.

Trading and Financial Services firms depend on the agility and performance of their networks to respond to new market conditions. Arista SwitchApp is a full-featured 1/10/40G Layer 2/3 switching application that runs on Arista’s 7130 line of programmable FPGA switches. It offers ultra-low latency of under 100ns with Layer 2 switching. FPGAs are extremely flexible off-the-shelf devices which have the benefit of software configurability at a gate level.

“ASX has been an Arista client for many years using successive generations of low latency switches, 7130 hardware, FPGA applications, EOS and the CloudVision software. We’re excited about this latest innovation, which brings all of the technologies together, allowing us to unify our network management and monitoring. This adds up to greater efficiency for us and a better outcome for our customers,” says David Glavin, GM Technology Infrastructure at ASX (Australian Stock Exchange).

“This is a significant step for switch technology. SwitchApp is not only Arista’s lowest latency L2/3 switch but offers clients the feature-richness of EOS’s routing stack and operational model. We’ve brought ultra-low latency and programmable FPGAs to EOS, allowing clients to benefit from the simplicity of a single operating system running across their entire estate,” says Martin Hull, VP Systems Engineering and Platforms at Arista.

Ultra-low latency combined with programmability

Arista has fully exploited re-programmability to allow customers to tune their system for new requirements. Thanks to the FPGA programmability, Arista engineers can add innovative features normally reserved for hardware updates to the heart of the switching pipeline through software updates or configuration options for financial services and low latency applications which rely on the highest levels of performance.

Extending single image consistency to ultra-low-latency environments

Customers can now run EOS across their entire network, including running their ultra-low latency FPGA-based devices on the same operating system which manages the network core. The Arista 7130 Series are also integrated into Arista’s CloudVision software, which provides a network-wide model for provisioning, orchestration and telemetry, acting as a unified control point for third-party overlay controllers, orchestration systems, and security platforms. By using EOS to manage their ultra-low latency and FPGA devices, customers gain significant operational advantages from monitoring to configuration management while maintaining consistency and a familiar configuration experience and feature set. The same EOS software runs across Arista’s entire range of products, so those with certification requirements need only certify a single software release.

The availability of EOS for the 7130 Series and Arista SwitchApp democratizes ultra-low latency, hybrid L1/2/3 switching and FPGA programmability, making these advanced technologies practical for a wider market. These foundational releases mark the beginning of a new era of innovation in this space, and demonstrates a long-term commitment to both financial services and innovative FPGA-based applications from Arista and third parties (via Arista’s FPGA developer’s kit).

7130 SwitchApp - Application Use Cases

SwitchApp’s ultra-low latency L2/3 features, support multiple deployment scenarios:

- Exchange-facing with multiple exchange connections, L1 tapping, routing and redundancy

- Multi-layer MLAG-based leaf-spine including redundant connections

- Multicast publish and subscribe trading networks

Enabling 7130 Series capabilities in EOS opens up L1 technology for use cases, including network tapping and monitoring, media conversion and remote cable management.

The combination of Layer 1, 2 and 3 in the same device allows a hyper-converged high-performance infrastructure within minimal overhead for cabling and maximizing data center flexibility.

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