Is Google rolling its own 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches?

Analyst speculates that Google isn't buying its switches retail

Google may be building its own 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches to support its massive data-center needs, according to a recent blog post by Nyquist Capital.

Andrew Schmitt, general partner of the investment firm, caused a stir when he suggested Friday that Google may be responsible for a shift in the market for optical components that could not be accounted for otherwise.

Schmitt wrote:

"We were watching shipments of SFP+ components for 10GbE in the market but simply couldn’t account for their end destination - sort of an optical component dark matter problem… 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."

Without citing sources, Schmitt said that Google is likely basing its switches on Broadcom silicon. He is convinced that Google is using a non-standard and low-cost optical format tailored for the short reach of data centers - and that the format may find its way into broader commercial use now that Google is using it.

Further connecting the dots, Schmitt says Arastra (a start-up that recently introduced its first products for the data center) is doing something similar to what he believes Google is doing. And it just so happens that Arastra founder Andy Bechtolsheim is tied to Google CEO Eric Schmidt, as they both were execs at Sun, and Bechtolsheim was apparently an early investor in Google.

If it's true, would Google have an impact on the high-speed switching market? It wouldn't surprise me. Google seems to be making its presence known in just about every area of networking these days.

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