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Wrap-up: Cisco at HPC for Wall Street

We recently returned from another great experience at the High Performance Computing Linux for Wall Street event in New York on April 7, 2014. This year’s 11th annual HPC conference focused on big data, HPC applications, data centers fabrics, cloud economics, low latency and how these technologies are all changing the way global financial markets are evolving. As usual, the industry’s top minds from various financial trading firms were in attendance to learn how to gain a competitive edge using the latest innovations in technology.Panel Closeup

This year, I was asked to take part in a panel discussion about the evolution of the high performance trading fabric and where we are heading. Our session discussed the newest and next wave of innovations that are addressing scalability, optimizing application performance, enabling event-based dynamic decision-making, enhancing analytics in support of risk/compliance, and taking accuracy to the next level. The top question being asked is, “How can I ensure performance and intelligence in the changing technology landscape?” Read More »

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Cisco Nexus 9508 Switch Shines for 40GbE Aggregation in Switch Performance Tests

January 12, 2014 at 9:20 pm PST

At the heart of the transition to cloud computing is on-demand provisioning of a wide variety of applications, linear scalability of resources, and non-stop operation at lower total cost. With the increasing frequency of rapid provisioning of data-intensive applications in the cloud, organizations are increasingly challenged to better scale and manage network and storage environments without business disruption. This necessitates a network that provides uniform latency, high bandwidth, full utilization of all paths, and configuration simplicity.

The Cisco Nexus® 9508 40GbE data center Ethernet switch was recently tested by Lippis report and turned in remarkable performance results, while supporting 288 40GbE ports for the highest 40GbE port density of any switch tested to date.  Cisco Nexus 9508 performed with the best overall store-and-forward latency of core switches tested to date, while providing consistent latency across all packet sizes at line rate. In addition, it demonstrated 100% throughput (i.e. without dropping a single packet!) across all 40GbE ports for a wide range of packet sizes. This is key to public and private cloud providers seeking aggregation and core networking technology that underpins large-scale, highly virtualized data centers and converged storage systems with support for disparate workloads having a wide range of performance requirements.

Use Cases

The industry-leading 40GbE density and performance of Cisco Nexus 9508 enables data center IT to upgrade aggregation network infrastructures from 10GbE to 40GbE to complement the shift in server networking from GbE to 10GbE. Having extremely impressive cross sectional bandwidth and latency numbers, the Cisco Nexus 9508 can also excel for aggregation and core infrastructure applications in traditional, cloud data centers as well as hyper-scale data center environments. Cisco Nexus 9508 is also optimal network infrastructure for high performance cluster computing applications, for example, for large-scale data analytics and low-latency trading applications.

Test Highlights

  • For unicast traffic, Cisco Nexus 9508 delivered store-and-forward latencies ranging from 1.6 microseconds for 64B packets used in transaction workloads to 3.5 microseconds for 9KB packets used in data-intensive, large-file applications. The latency variation ranged between 1 to 3 ns, allowing consistent latency across all packet sizes at line rate. These are by far the lowest latency measurements observed by Lippis Report in core switches to date (the previous record for modular switch latency was 2.2 to 11.9 microseconds, at the same packet range, however at much less density).
  • For IP multicast traffic, the Cisco Nexus 9508 demonstrated store-and-forward latencies ranging from 1.6 microseconds for 64B packets to 3.5 microseconds (3465.3 ns) for 9KB packet forwarding IP multicast traffic faster than any other core switch observed in Lippis core switch tests.
  • The Cisco Nexus 9508’s congestion management is excellent at nearly 78% of aggregated forwarding rate as percentage of line rate during congestion conditions for L3 traffic flows, but when considering the density of ports supported and sheer magnitude of the traffic flow, the Cisco Nexus 9508 achieved congestion management at a scale never before attempted.
  • The Cisco Nexus 9508 also demonstrated 100% throughput as a percentage of line rate across all 288 40GbE ports for unicast traffic. In other words, not a single packet was dropped while the Cisco Nexus® 9508 was presented with enough traffic to populate its highly dense 288 40GbE ports at line rate.

The full report can be found here:

Lippis Report Cisco Nexus 9508 Switch Performance Test
Following are links to webcasts providing highlights of unicast and multicast support of Cisco 9000:
Nexus 9000 Unicast forwarding  by Lilian Quan

Nexus 9000 Multicast forwarding  by Lilian Quan

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Nexus 3100 at Interop

On September 30th at Interop New York  we announced the Cisco Nexus 3100 top-of-rack flexible switches. The show floor was buzzing with the news and the Techwise TV video below with Senior Product Manager, Jag Tamvada and self proclaimed Chief Networking Geek Jimmy Ray Purser discuss details of the switches.

Read More »

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Introducing Cisco Nexus 3100 Top of Rack Data Center Switches

Cisco always strives to innovate while meeting customer needs. Today we are proud to unveil the  Cisco Nexus 3100 line of switches as part of our Unified Fabric Data Center portfolio. These highly scalable, power efficient, and flexible switches feature significant improvements in port density, programmability and VXLAN capable gateway functionality that are ideal for data center top-of-rack (ToR) deployment scenarios. As the second generation Nexus 3000 series, they offer a balanced mix of performance, cost, simplicity, and an innovative feature set that complements the rest of Cisco’s overall top-of-rack solutions.

A First Glimpse…

As the below graphic indicates, both switches are 1RU in height with 32 line rate 40-Gbps Quad Small Form-Factor Pluggable (QSFP+) ports for the Nexus 3132Q and 48 line rate 10 Gbps SFP+ with 6 fixed QSFP+ ports for the Nexus 3172PQ. All of the QSFP+ ports on the device can operate as a  native 40-Gbps port or a four independent  10-Gbps ports. The switches also have a serial console port, USB port, PPS connector and an out-of-band 10/100/1000-Mbps Ethernet management ports. From a software perspective, the rich NX-OS operating system fully supports the Cisco Open Network Environment framework with Openflow and the onePK toolkit in addition to standards based Layer 2 and Layer 3 features.

nexus3100_summary

 

What does this mean for your data center? Some examples include:  Improved workload flexibility, higher availability, and Read More »

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Wall Street and Data Analytics, They Are Only As Good As The Network That Connects Them

HPC on Wall StreetAt this years’ 2013 High Performance Computing on Wall Street once again the greatest minds from the financial services industry gathered to discuss the latest technology trends that give financial firms a technology edge in accessing information in real-time to better predict where markets are going and the best areas to invest.

Many vendors delivered their latest innovation data analytics software that can analyze market data in real-time, but without the right infrastructure, traders can be delayed in executing on that information. Trading smarter is the key underlying theme by which the fabric can provide greater transparency and enhance application delivery that impacts the business. Read More »

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