The High Performance Computing Linux Financial Markets trade show is on today in New York, and Andy Bechtolsheim, twice the chief technology officer at the Oracle-borged Sun Microsystems, is using the event to launch the first modular 10 Gigabit Ethernet switch from his latest company, Arista Networks. And it looks like …
Cisco comparison is a bit silly
Yes the currently shipping Nexus blades have 32 ports of which only 8 are available in 'dedicated' non-oversubscribed mode, but that's a first generation card. There's a 32 port non-oversubscribed one due in a couple of months - still only 256 ports I know, but I doubt Arista has shipped any of these yet either. So you'd only need a pair of Nexus 7010's or one Nexus 7018 to reach 384 ports. The Cisco also has a modular backplane, and a roadmap for a lot more performance.
Granted I'm sure the Arista will still be much less expensive.
Cisco wirespeed 32-port module
Actually, I would beg to differ. Cisco does not have a wirespeed L2/L3 32-port module for the Nexus 7000 anywhere near their roadmap.
The current backplane capacity of a fully configured Nexus 7000 is 230Gb/slot. This is 5x46Gb switch fabrics. Planning and assuming for N+1 resiliency of the fabric I would never build a linecard module that uses >194Gb.
The 32-Port Data Center Ethernet D1 series of modules that Cisco has been putting into customer hands to test recently are Layer-2 only, do not support any routing capability, and do not connect to the fabric at wirespeed. At best they may do 23 ports of 10Gb at speed, and for L3 operations need to traverse the fabric to another module to handle routing.
This looks a lot like the Cisco 8500 aberration from days gone by... a product that had a fortunately short lifespan before being obsoleted by something far better.
I pine. I crave. I weep with desire.