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32 ×100G Switch: Innovium SONiC low latency switch or Tofino P4 programmable Switch?

written by Asterfuison

September 30, 2021

There are many choices for 32 × 100G network switches on the market now, such as brite box switch that are preloaded with open source software like SONiC , PicOS, Snaproute,etc.The other choice is the bare metal switch. What is the difference and which to choose? Here use Asterfusion’s Innovium SONiC low latency cloud switch and Intel tofino bare mental switch to make a comparison.

Option A: Innovium SONiC low latency cloud switch CX532P-N (32×100G QSFP28)

Asterfusion CX532-N switch is a Top-of-Rack (TOR) or spine switch for high-performance data center ,enterprises and cloud service providers’ network deployments. With 32 x 100G QSFP28 interfaces where line-rate L2/ L3 up to 3.2 Tbps switching performance of Innovium Teralynx is paired with ultra low-latency feature. It is well suited for cloud,NVME AI and HPC latency-sensitive applications.

Innovium SONiC switch with 32X100G ports

Built on the deployment-proven Innovium Teralynx switching ASIC, this 100G network switch is preloaded with “AsterNOS” which is an enterprise NOS distribution of open source SONiC with feature rich enhancement and high quality assurance.

Asterfusion enterprise SONiC NOS

AsterNOS packed with software features that support complete Layer 3 IPv4 and IPv6 routing protocol.Besides,it supports VXLAN, EVPN for virtual network expansion. Advancing functions in data center such as DCB、ECN、 RoCE. DCTCP、DCQCN is also provided to deliver low-latency, zero packet loss, non-blocking lossless Ethernet. Furthermore, supporting features like INT, BFD mechanisms to ensure normal operation when the network bears abundant services and heavy traffic.

Option B: Intel tofino P4 programmable switchX532P-T ( 32×100G QSFP28 )

The Asterfusion X532P-T is a P4 bare metal switch with 32 port 100G QSFP28 interface ,Layer 2 and Layer 3 forwarding up to 3.3 Tbps.

It is a unique combination of a multi-core X86-based control/management plane, an Intel Barefoot Tofino programmable switching chip based data forwarding plane.

3.3 T Intel Tofino programmable switch interior architecture

Software for Intel Tofino P4 programmable Bare Metal Switch

1.Debian based environment for development quick start ;

2.BSP patches of SONiC community version

3.SONiC based enterprise distribution-AsterNOS

4.Community version of SONiC and Stratum can be installed with the pre-loaded white box install environment ONIE.

3.3 T Intel Tofino programmable switch

After installing software, this programmable 100G network switch can be deployed as spine switch ( core switch) as well as smart gateway such as traffic management, load balance and security processing because its ASIC level programmability enables the switch to deal with flexible network application scenarios.

SONiC Innovium switch or P4 Bare Metal switch, Which to Choose?

Option A have installed SONiC software, which is suitable for users who want simple, plug-and-play deployments and turnkey solution. CX532P-N  not only can take the advantage of “AsterNOS” with rich and advancing functions support ,but also is a low latency switch which well suited for cloud,NVME, AI and HPC latency-sensitive applications.

As for Tofino p4 switch ,suits for the customers who has the in-house capabilities and technical expertise to develop the application on software and great needs for data plane programmability.

If users want to develop applications on switch,we will offer patch for BSP of platform for the SDE;or user can use SONiC from community and we will offer patches to support hardware;we can even help users to combine P4 and SONiC together to reduce their time-to-market. Of course, our AsterNOS operating system is an ideal choice as well.

Barefoot tofino P4 programmable switch enjoys great popularity for academia and research program nowadays.

In addition, price is also an important factor

CX532P-N SONiC Innovium cloud switch here is more expensive because it already installs a SONiC NOS while X532P-T is a bare metal switch which is slightly cheaper.


32-Port 100G QSFP28 network switch is the common solution for data centers’ increasing demands now.

To satisfy different customers’requirements, Asterfusion has released Two types 100G network switches :CX532P-N/ X532P-T, providing an open choice for users.

CX532P-N preload with SONiC software which can use directly,with its Innovium Teralynx ASIC can meet latency-sensitive industry’s needs.

X532P-T is a Barefoot Tofino P4 programmable switch suits for the customers who has the in-house capabilities and technical expertise to develop the application on software .

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