Sunday, April 22, 2007

Woven Systems delivers 10 gig Switch

Woven Systems launched its EFX 1000 Ethernet Fabric Switch with 144 10-Gig Ethernet ports. Woven, a startup founded in 2003, received its Series A VC funding in 2005.

Woven says its primary goal has been to bring 10 Gig Ethernet closer to Infiniband in terms of latency and power consumption. Although Ethernet has the advantages of ubiquity, its power consumption is about 70 watts per port, much higher than Infiniband which is at few watts per port. Similarly, latencies at heavy load may be considerably higher than Infiniband.

The EFX 1000 uses about 16 watts per port and delivers an end-to-end latency of 4 microseconds. The switch also can dynamically load balance data traffic across the various 10 GbE paths. For this, it has its vSCALE packet processing ASIC which uses active congestion management to dynamically monitor congestion across a large fabric and steer traffic onto less congested alternate paths, without dropping or re-ordering packets.

It is evident that Woven Systems is targeting the convergence of wide-area network (WAN) and storage with 10 Gig Ethernet technology. Currently, fiber channel is usually used in Storage Area Networks, while Ethernet is used in WANs. The primary customers are expected to be high-performance computing communities such as national labs and web-server farms.

The product brief is available here.

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