Choosing the best campus switches for your network environment
A collection of articles that takes you from defining technology needs to purchasing options
Creating a campus LAN consisting of Arista Networks' ultralow-latency switches will not come cheap, especially compared with other vendors. But if you demand high performance, Arista needs to be on your shortlist.
One reason is Arista's Linux-based Extensible Operating System (EOS). The Linux-based software powers every switch offered by Arista and provides a uniform management experience no matter what hardware an organization is using.
Most of Arista's customer base is dependent on ultralow-latency transport of huge amounts of data. Although cloud and internet service providers make up a large portion of the company's customer base, Arista has a large installed base in verticals, such as finance, government, and media and entertainment.
What these ultralow-latency switches provide from the access layer
The lowest end of the Arista switch line for access-layer connectivity is the 7010T Series. These multilayer switches would likely be considered high-end access switches by most other vendors. Features include 48 ports of 10/100/1,000 Gigabit Ethernet, with four SFP+ uplinks that offer up to 10 Gbps connectivity per port. High-availability hardware features, such as redundant and hot-swappable power supplies and fan units, come standard. Note that Arista doesn't offer Power over Ethernet on any product -- either fixed-form or modular switches with line cards.
How Arista campus LAN switch options address the distribution layer
Arista options dramatically increase for distribution and core switches, and here is where the performance and flexibility of Arista architectures really shine. A great example of this is the 7250QX Series. These fixed-port, 2U switches offer 256x10 Gbps or 64x40 Gbps QSFP+ ports with ultralow-latency performance. In terms of throughput, the 7250QX boasts packet and frame forwarding up to 3.84 billion packets per second (PPS). The EOS software has advanced routing, switching and security capabilities that rival all other vendors in the same category.
For more flexibility in terms of port density, the Arista 7300X Series switches are modular and come in chassis that support four, eight or 16 line cards. The largest switch chassis supports up to 512x40 Gbps or 2,048x10 Gbps Ethernet interfaces. In terms of forwarding rates, the 7300X platform can forward up to 30 billion PPS. And if you need 100 Gbps port capabilities, the 7320X is another modular choice that comes with either four or eight line card slots. This provides capacity for a maximum of 256x100 Gbps, 256x40 Gbps or 1024x10 Gbps interfaces. The 7320X is engineered with a 38 billion PPS forwarding capacity and a switching capacity of more than 50 Tbps.
Pricing and support for Arista products
Arista hardware, software and support contracts can only be purchased through authorized Arista partners. The partner determines the final selling price of all products. All Arista ultralow-latency switches come standard with one-year limited lifetime replacement and a turnaround of up to 10 business days. The company also offers support contracts, hardware service-level agreements, technical support, online training, and access to download the latest EOS updates and patches.
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