Google’s Secret 10GbE Switch

Those that pay attention to Google have heard rumors about a secret Google 10GbE switch that they designed for use within their cluster.

Bill Gates even hinted at it a few months ago when he publicly derided Google by saying that they should focus more on innovation and not waste time building their own networking equipment (I can’t find the exact quote).

Anyway, details of this switch are starting to come to light:

We believe Google based their current switch design on Broadcom’s (BRCM) 20-port 10GE switch silicon (BCM56800) and SFP+ based interconnect. It is likely that Broadcom’s 10GbE PHY is also being employed. This would be a repeat of the same winner-take-all scenario that played out in 1GbE interconnect. Vendors of standalone 10GbE PHY silicon ( AMCC (AMCC), VTSS (VTSS.PK), Netlogic/Aeluros (NETL) ) should take close note. Broadcom’s role in hollowing out equipment is something we previously profiled in depth (see Cisco’s Fear of a Broadcom Planet).

It’s interesting that they’re using a proprietary cabling system. I guess when you have to rack 500k servers proprietary takes on a new meaning.

I’m wondering if their older machines use 10GbE.

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