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Startup Offers to Upgrade Networks to 10 Gig, Keeping Old Cable

Arista Networks has announced two ethernet switches that the company says can push 10 gigabits worth of traffic over a 1 gigabit cable.

The world of trading, led by the major exchanges such as the NYSE (which is building a 100 gigabit network from its data centers to its access centers) is shifting toward higher-speed networks such as 10 gigabit Ethernet. For those seeking to upgrade their data center networks from 1 gigabit Ethernet to 10 gigabit but reluctant to rip and replace all their old cable and equipment, network switch startup Arista Networks has announced a solution.

"Investment protection is very important to customers, they want to leverage their existing cables, server racks, the amount of power they have allocated," notes Mark Foss, vice president of marketing. "They want the transition to be as seamless as possible, they want to have the port densities, space allocation, and backward compatibility with the products they're replacing, because often people will upgrade certain parts of their networks first, then go to higher speeds elsewhere at a later time."

Arista, which was founded in 2007 by Sun Microsystems cofounder Andy Bechtolsheim, has come out with a 1U (meaning it's the size of one rack blade) switch that comes with 24 or 48 ports and works with standard ethernet cabling such as older Cat 5e, 6 or 6a lines. It can handle a mixture of 1 gigabit and 10 gigabit traffic.

Arista says its 7100T layer 2/3 switches are a virtualization enabler and can accommodate network service integration with the Arista Extensible Operating System, which gives customers access to Linux tools and extensible network services and allows for integration with third party applications. The new switches work with Intel's 10 Gigabit AT Server Adapter for virtualized datacenters.

The Arista 7100T switches are currently in field trials, production units will be available in the third quarter of this year.

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