Report: Google’s Secret 10GbE Switch

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Google is now building its own energy-efficient 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches for its data centers, according to analyst Andrew Schmitt at Nyquist Capital. Andrew says he learned about Google’s effort while researching anomalies in the equipment market. He was tracking shipments of components for 10GbE but couldn’t account for the difference between those parts and the gear being manufactured by vendors, creating “an optical component dark matter problem.” After extensive digging, Schmitt believes the answer is Google (GOOG):

Through conversations with multiple carrier, equipment, and component industry sources we have confirmed that Google has designed, built, and deployed homebrewed 10GbE switches for providing server interconnect within their data centers. This is very similar to Google’s efforts to build its own server computers … This decision by Google, while small in terms of units purchased, is enormous in terms of the disruptive impact it should have on 10GbE switching equipment providers and their component supply chains.”

It’s well known that Google builds its own servers and power supplies, and also uses its own customized operating system and web server products. Schmitt believes Google’s 10GbE switch effort has implications for the broader market for this equipment, and may eventually lead to more attractive energy saving options for other data center operators. You can read more at Andrew’s blog.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor-in-chief of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.