Feeds

Australian company claims world’s fastest switch

Traders the target, but 130ns latency has storage industry sniffing around

Remote control for virtualized desktops

A new Australia company, Zeptonics, has created what it claims is the world’s fastest network switch.

The company’s “Zeptomux” bills itself as a “23-to-1 multiplexing switch that operates with a fibre-to-fibre latency (including SFP+s) of ~130ns.” The Zeptomux can achieve that speed over copper or fibre, and uses 10G Ethernet exclusively.

Quite how the switch achieves that speed is, of course, a closely-guarded secret. But Zeptonics’ founder Matt Hurd told The Reg the company’s secret sauce “… is making a very constrained device.”

“It’s not an ordinary switch,” he said. “It is stripped down and simplified. Client ports cannot talk to one another. We think it is the fastest way to multiplex Ethernet onto one outgoing layer two line.”

The Zeptomux features an API Hurd said is “Cisco-like”, uses embedded Linux and can be accessed through SNMP.

Hurd and other Zeptonics staff share a background in high frequency trading, the practice of buying and selling equities many times each day. Such traders value speed above all else, as their algorithmically-driven and automated trading systems order many trades every day. A few microseconds delay can see a favourable buying or selling opportunity disappear.

“When you are trying to make a trade or get ahead of competitors you want to get your foot in the door first,” Hurd told The Reg. “10,000 people all want that trade. We’ve designed the boxes we would have liked to use during our trading days.”

The company therefore envisages stock exchanges, investment banks and high frequency traders as its clientele, but as news of its switches has emerged Hurd says he has already been approached by an enterprise storage company. Hurd declined to name the vendor.

The company’s formal launch will take place in New York next week, and Hurd said he already has meetings scheduled with interested financial services organisations in that city and Chicago. Those organisations will have a chance to see the first 50 Zeptomuxes, which have rolled off the production line but are considered Alpha devices. Beta-testing will soon be under way and Hurd expects production devices to become available at the end of July. The US road show will also see the company unveil the ZeptoLink, 50-port layer 1 device Hurd says has latency of around five nanoseconds.

Zeptonics is funded by Australian private investors. Design and manufacture of the Zeptomux was all performed in Sydney, a task Hurd says was easy as few local companies compete for the talent pool of people qualified to perform, or experienced in such work. Hurd said the Zeptomux is an entirely original design and is not based on any white label appliance platform. ®

Bootnote

Hurd sent us the image below, claiming that the Lego man and numerous tiny brethren toiling within the confines of the Zeptomux are the source of its speed. We're checking out that claim here in our Antipodean Labs.

Zeptonics Lego workers

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Cloud unicorns are extinct so DiData cloud mess was YOUR fault
Applications need to be built to handle TITSUP incidents
BOFH: WHERE did this 'fax-enabled' printer UPGRADE come from?
Don't worry about that cable, it's part of the config
Stop the IoT revolution! We need to figure out packet sizes first
Researchers test 802.15.4 and find we know nuh-think! about large scale sensor network ops
DEATH by COMMENTS: WordPress XSS vuln is BIGGEST for YEARS
Trio of XSS turns attackers into admins
SanDisk vows: We'll have a 16TB SSD WHOPPER by 2016
Flash WORM has a serious use for archived photos and videos
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?