Monday Nov 19, 2007

Google's custom 10 GigE switches

Just read an article from Nyquist Capital about Google designing its own 10 GigE switches. Its interesting how the authors traced the source of thousand of SFP+ components to Google to determine this. The article discusses how the strategy is very similar to Google designing its own servers and compute farms from basic components as opposed to buying servers from companies like SUN. the article also mentions Google adding 5K+ 10GigE ports a month to manage its 500,000+ compute nodes.

Thats a ton of money being saved, given the cost of 10GigE switches in the market today. Which brings us to the question, what is so proprietary about a switch that vendors like Cisco, Juniper, Woven etc., can sell them at a huge price and a huge margins. Does IOS-X from Cisco have some patented stuff that open source software cannot implement or don't have. I would love to see the above Google technique revolutionize the switch market and motivate some startup to design a switch fabric based on commodity hardware.
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This blog discusses my work as a performance engineer at Sun Microsystems. It touches upon key topics of performance issues in operating systems and the Solaris Networking stack.

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