Google Building Custom 10GigE Switches

Google has been hiring networking hardware folks so it’s been long speculated that they are building their own network switches. This remains speculation only but the evidence is mounting:

From (Sent my way by James Depoy of the OEM team and Michael Nelson of SQL Server):

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.

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.

This article attempts to track Google consumption by tracking shipments of 20 port 10GigE silicone. Not a bad approach. In their determination, Google is installing 5,000 ports a month. If you assume that servers dominate over inter-switch connections, the implication is that Google is installing nearly 5k servers per months.


James Hamilton, Windows Live Platform Services
Bldg RedW-D/2072, One Microsoft Way, Redmond, Washington, 98052
W:+1(425)703-9972 | C:+1(206)910-4692 | H:+1(206)201-1859 | | | Msft internal blog: msblogs/JamesRH

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