Extreme Network Releases Black Diamond X8 Switch
Extreme Networks‘ latest switch, the BlackDiamond X8, is being touted as the “fastest Ethernet switch in the world”. It was released this week, with the first shipments expected to go out during the first half of February. The BlackDiamond X8 takes up a mere one-third of a data rack, and has a switching capacity of over 20Tbps, or 1.28Tbps per slot. It can handle 768 wire-speed 10G Ethernet ports, which is the best density in the industry, and 192 wire-speed 40G Ethernet ports, according to Extreme.
Port-to-port latency on the X8 is astounding at a speed of less than 3 microseconds. It uses 5 watts per 10G port and sustains 128,000 virtual machines, says the company. The switch supports a novel new architecture for Extreme, in that the mid-plane is set aside for management traffic. Business data never comes in contact with anything across the mid-plane.
In independent performance tests by Lippis Reports, the BlackDiamond X8 tested anywhere from three to ten times faster than any core Ethernet switch in its form factor and had the advantage of the lowest latency and best power efficiency per port. Nick Lippis, principal analyst for The Lippis Report, described it as “the best-in-class choice for high-performance networks”.
Gary Newbold, Extreme Networks’ managing director for the UK and Ireland, says the release of the X8 and the publicity that accompanied its launch at Interop last year helped to allow the company access into new markets.
“We’re talking to large finance organisations that we’ve not really talked to in a while, based on the fact that we’ve just not had the product,” said Newbold. “In finance, latency’s really important, so from transaction start to end it’s important to make that as quick as possible. We’re the market leader now for latency in the core switch, so that should attract lots of attention.”
A certain research institution has become Extreme’s first customer. Extreme sold its first X8 switch to the research institution, where power and density is invaluable for running extraordinarily complicated calculations using high performance computing (HPC).