Mellanox Technologies reach to 100 Gb/sec full-wire speed

Mellanox’s new equipment enables end-to-end 10, 25, 40, 50, or 100 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity. The CEO believes Mellanox is “a generation ahead of Intel.” Ethernet speeds might not be doubling every two years like what Gordon Moore predicted for processor transistors, but they have been skyrocketing. Case in point: At the Hadoop user meeting in March 2015 in the Twin Cities, two individuals who work at the University of Minnesota’s Supercomputing Institute were talking about the new insanely-fast network at the Institute — 100 gigabit per second full-wire speed — that saves hours of compute time on the school’s EDR InfiniBand large-scale cluster. Someone asked who made the equipment, and they said Mellanox Technologies. Until then, I had not heard of Mellanox.mellanox-logo

Three months later, Mellanox, founded in 1999 by Eyal Waldman (now CEO) and a team of engineers in Yokneam, Israel, is once again making news. The maker of InfiniBand and Ethernet interconnection equipment — including adapters, switches, silicon, and software — introduced Spectrum, the industry’s first 100 Gigabit Ethernet, Open Ethernet, non-blocking switch. The company also introduced ConnectX-4 Lx, a series of network adapters. Together, the equipment enables end-to-end 10, 25, 40, 50, or 100 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity.

The Spectrum line of switches offers the following features.
· Wire-speed switching: 6.4 Tb/s and 9.52 B packets-per-second
· High density: 32 100 GbE ports, 32 40/56 GbE ports, 64 10 GbE ports, 64 25 GbE ports, and 64 50 GbE ports
· Low latency: 300 nsec for 100 GbE port-to-port, and flat latency across L2 and L3 forwarding
· Low power: 7.5 watts per port
· Overlay gateway and tunneling support, including VXLAN, NVGRE, Geneve, MPLS, and IPinIP
· Embedded low-latency RoCEv2 support for storage and compute fabrics.

A few days before the Spectrum announcement, Cisco introduced its new Nexus 3000-series switches, which also have 10, 25, 40, 50, and 100 GigE connectivity.