Martin Hull

Author Archives: Martin Hull

The Era of Ultra-Low Latency 25G Ethernet

Back in the early 2000s, store and forward networking was used by both market data providers, exchanges and customers executing electronic trading applications where the lowest latency execution can make the difference in a strategy from a profit to a loss. Moving closer to the exchange to reduce link latency, eliminating any unnecessary network hops, placing all feed handler and trading execution servers on the same switch to minimize transit time, and leveraging high-performance 10Gb NICs with embedded FPGAs all contributed to the ongoing effort to squeeze out every last microsecond to execute trades and gain a performance edge.

Thinking Outside the Box for Network Acceleration

There is a continued push to go even “faster.” Lowering port to port latency while maintaining features and increasing link speeds and system density is a significant technology challenge for designers and the laws of physics. Since the first release of Arista’s 7100 and 7150 switch families, the company has been a partner in building best-in-class low latency trading networks that are today deployed in global financial institutions and trading locations.

Cutting edge customers took the approach of disaggregating network functions into pools of functionality – extremely fast Layer 1 switching, operating as low as 5 ns and FPGA-driven trading pipelines running at under 40 ns with the Arista 7130 family. This approach allowed more sophisticated L2 / L3 networking functionality, such as the ability to tap any flow or enable routing protocols, to run on general-purpose systems, including the Arista 7050X, 7060X and 7170 full-featured platforms, using merchant silicon with billions of packets per second and low latency.

The 400G Era

As an industry leader in data-driven networking, Arista’s introduction of 400G platforms in 2019 intersected the emerging needs of hyper-scale cloud and HPC customers to dramatically increase bandwidth for specific ultra-high performance applications.