When building scalable Leaf-Spine fabrics, network architects look for low-latency, high-density switches to use at the leaf layer. There are many fixed switches that can be used for Top-0f-rack (ToR) at the leaf layer to provide connectivity upstream to the spine layer. What I’m about to compare are 3 ultra-low-latency ToR switches based on merchant silicon available in the market today for that purpose.
Cisco Nexus 3064
The 3064 is 1 RU heigh and has a low latency and low power consumption per port. It has (48) 1/10GbE ports and (4) 40 GbE uplinks which can be each used in native 40 GbE or split into four 10GbE ports. It runs the same Nx-OS as the Nexus 7000 and 5000 series.
The Nexus 3064 is Cisco’s first switch in the Nexus family to use merchant silicon (Broadcom Trident+ chip). I’m curious to see whether Cisco will continue to use merchant silicon in future products or stick to their propreitery Nuova ASIC of the 7000 and 5000 series.
Arista 7050S-64 is very similar to the Cisco Nexus 3064 in terms of latency, interface types, and switching capacity. Its power consumption is less than the Nexus 3064 though. Arista’s fixed switches are known for their low power consumption and the 7050S-64 is no exception. Its power consumption is under 2W per port. You really cannot beat that!
Dell Force10 S4810
The Dell Force10 S4810 is another great ToR switch that can be used to build leaf-spine fabrics. It offers the same interface types as the Nexus 3064 and Arista 7050s-64; and similar form factor. It does however have slightly higher power consumption per port.
Ultra-low-latency 10/40 GbE Top-of-Rack Switches
Cisco Nexus 3064 Arista 7050S-64 Dell Force10 S4810 Ports 48 x 1/10GbE SPF+ and 4 x 40GbE QSFP+ 48 x 1/10GbE SPF+ and 4 x 40GbE QSFP+ 48 x 1/10GbE SPF+ and 4 x 40GbE QSFP+ Packet Latency (64 bytes) 824ns 800ns 700ns OS Nx-OS Arista EOS FTOS Form Factor 1 RU 1 RU 1 RU Switching Capacity 1.28 Tbps 1.28 Tbps 1.28 Tbps Power Supply 2 Redundant & Hot swappable power supplies 2 Redundant & Hot swappable power supplies 2 Redundant & Hot swappable power supplies Typical Operating Power 177W 103W 220W Full Data Sheet Data Sheet Data Sheet Data Sheet