And Now Google Is Making Its Own 10-Gigabit Switches

[qi:051] Google, has been known to come up with its own technologies when dissatisfied with commercial and/or open source offerings. The company had previously started making its own server hardware. And now it seems the company engineers are building high-speed switches according to its own stringent specifications. It is part of company’s efforts to ensure that its services – search, advertising and everything else – are delivered to end users with minimum delay.

Andrew Schmitt reports that company has been buying up components that are going into some sort of a 10 Gigabit Ethernet switch. The system is based on Broadcom’s silicon, he reports. I had heard similar story about three months ago but failed to find any confirmation. My hats off to Andrew for his scoop. This dovetails with some information I have received that the company has been making a run at router geeks and raiding Cisco’s pantry so to speak.

Here are some highlights about Google’s 10 GigBE Switch:

  • It used Broadcom 20-port 10GE switch silicon (BCM56800) & SFP+ based interconnect.
  • Google is using non-standard solutions in order to build products specific to its needs.
  • Andrew estimates that Google might be using about 5,000 ports per month

I think this development merits further investigation about Force 10 Networks, which was one of the suppliers to Google, as I had previously reported. That company has raised a mountain of cash and was supposed to go public. I have heard that they recently lost out to Myricom, another 10 GigBE vendor to supply gear to Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF), a 445-teraflops Blue Gene/P super computer built by IBM and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory.


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