BradReese.Com Cisco vs. ZTE Price Quotes

Home About Repair Power Supplies Refurbished Blog Quick Links Site Map Contact Us

Brad Reese speaks out


Power Supplies

VoIP Gateways

Cisco Repair

Refurbished Cisco

Cisco CPQRGs

New Cisco

New HP ProCurve

Cisco Tools

Competitive Lab Tests

Tech Forums

How-to Tutorials

CCIE Gossip


View archive of Brad Reese speaks out

Subscribe to Brad Reese speaks out

Cisco Nexus 5548P vs. Arista 7148SX, IBM BNT G8264 and Juniper EX4500 competitive lab test
Mon, 3/28/11 - 11:59pm    View comments

TollyIBMIBM commissioned the independent test lab, The Tolly Group, to perform a competitive lab test that benchmarked 10GbE switches for price/performance, throughput, latency, microburst buffer capacity and power consumption.

The lab test pitted the IBM BNT G8264 RackSwitch against the following 3 competitive 10GbE switches:

1. Arista 7148SX

2. Cisco Nexus 5548P

3. Juniper EX4500

Tolly's price/performance results:

Systems Under Test Details

The price/performance ratio of the DUTs (device under test) were calculated in terms of US dollars per Gbps (US$/Gbps), using the maximum throughput as measured by Tolly's engineers. For the comparison below, Tolly configured the DUTs as similarly as possible:

Top-of-Rack 10GbE Switch Price/Performance Comparison

According to Tolly, a 10GbE Top-of-Rack Data Center switch should perform at line rate across all frame sizes. Forwarding anything less than 100% of frames when required can cause retransmission of data, potentially resulting in degraded application performance.

Tolly engineers benchmarked the DUTs (device under test) for throughput and latency while handling bidirectional Layer-2 traffic from 64 to 9216 bytes in size as defined by RFC 2544.

For Tolly's ATSS port-to-port latency test, the Arista, Cisco and Juniper DUTs (device under test) were tested for the cut-through latency using 48 10GbE ports connected in port-pairs, from the outside ports inward, topology handling a load of 100% of the 10GbE line rate for Cisco and IBM. Other devices were tested at their maximum achievable rate for each DUT based on the IxAutomate ATSS test suite.

Comparison of Layer 2 throughput and latency results:

Layer 2 RFC 2544 Throughput and Layer 2 ATSS Latency

Tolly believes that depending on the type of protocol, as in multicast applications, frames can be dropped if line rate throughput is not achieved.

The Tolly Layer 2 multicast performance RFC 3918 One-to-Many throughput test evaluated the ability of the DUTs to forward multicast traffic from one transmitting 10GbE port to the remaining 47 10 GbE ports in a 1-to-47 "fan-out" configuration with 10 Gbps of Layer 2 unidirectional multicast traffic consisting of the standard Ethernet frame sizes between 64 bytes and 9216 bytes.

Comparison of Layer 2 multicast latency results:

Layer 2 Multicast Latency

Similar to the Layer 2 performance tests above, the switches were tested by Tolly for Layer 3 performance. To demonstrate the Layer 3 forwarding capabilities each port was configured in a separate subnet and a separate VLAN to require Layer 3 routing between ports.

For Tolly's ATSS port-to-port latency test the DUTs were tested for Layer 3 cut-through latency at their highest sustained throughput with the port-pairs connected as per the Layer 2 testing. Each port was configured in a separate subnet and a separate VLAN to require Layer 3 routing between ports.

Comparison of Layer 3 throughput and latency results (the Cisco Nexus 5548P did not support Layer 3 forwarding and was not tested):

Layer 3 Throughput and Latency

According to Tolly, Microbursts are defined as sub-second periods of time when major bursts of network useage occur, causing utilization of network interfaces to become temporarily oversubscribed. This can possibly result in packet loss depending on the network device's capacity to buffer the excess packets.

These conditions are typically caused when many devices transmit to a single device at the same time; the Microburst can even occur in a period of nanoseconds and result in dropped packets. Detection of such instances may also be nearly impossible to indentify without the use of specialized network monitoring tools.

The below Microburst tests were run at the maximum achieveable throughput rate of each packet size for each DUT (device under test) using only 3 ports:

Microburst Tolerance

Tolly engineers benchmarked the power consumption by using a Watts up? PRO power meter to measure the power consumption of all DUTs (device under test) in similarly-equipped configurations while idle and while handling 50% and 100% line-rate bidirectional, full-mesh traffic of 64, 512, and 1518 byte frames.

At each load, traffic was maintained for 60 seconds and the average power consumption recorded. Tests were repeated 3 times and the results averaged. Since all the switches were equipped with dual power supplies, Tolly engineers utilized a 1 to 2 breakout cable, which aggregated the power draw to the power meter:

Power Consumption

View the complete Tolly lab test results as well as more Cisco vs. Competitor Lab Tests.

Related stories:

Cisco Nexus 5010 and 5020 vs. Arista 7124S and 7148SX competitive lab test

Has feisty Arista delivered a knockout punch to Cisco with new 7124SX switch?

Data centers: Cisco's multi-tier architecture vs. the Arista 2-tier cloud network

Cisco vs. Arista Networks, choosing Arista could save you $13.3 million

What's your take?

Contact Brad Reese

Subscribe to Brad Reese speaks out

Brad's Favorite Story Picks

  1. Cisco vice president Inder Singh named in insider trading scandal
  2. Is the Raj Rajaratnam insider trading scandal shaking up Cisco's executive ranks?
  3. Has feisty Arista delivered a knockout punch to Cisco with new 7124SX switch?
  4. Half of Cisco's stock buybacks went to support Cisco's dilutive management compensation practices during Q2'FY11
  5. Fired top Cisco exec has been cleared of all criminal charges by court
  6. Cisco vs. D-Link, HP and NETGEAR competitive lab test
  7. Tax penalty claims against Cisco are growing at a staggering $11.7 million per day
  8. Did Cisco dump the ASA 5580 because of its HP heritage?
  9. Cisco's edge router market share has dropped a stunning -36%
  10. Network security will be the highest priority according to the 2011 IT spending intentions report
  11. Cisco's product gross margin dropped a whopping -10% over the past 5 quarters
  12. Cisco's Q2FY11 sales sequentially declined in collaboration, other, routers, security, switches and total sales
  13. Inactive Cisco CCIEs are growing at an 81% faster percentage growth rate than active Cisco CCIEs
  14. Cisco's Randy Pond slams U.S. suppliers while favoring suppliers overseas
  15. Has the Cisco CRS-3 caused network outages at both Comcast and AT&T?
  16. Cisco's the worst performing stock on the world famous Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)
  17. Download for FREE - Enterprise Application Firewalls for Dummies
  18. A whopping 75% of Cisco's new job creation was in locations outside the United States
  19. HP E5400 zl and HP 8200 zl switches vs. Cisco Catalyst 3750-X and 4500 switches
  20. View archive of Brad Reese speaks out
blog comments powered by Disqus
Locate and Hire a CCIE


©2013 BradReese.Com - Home - About - Repair - Power Supplies - Refurbished - Blog - Quick Links - Site Map - Contact Us