This week, Arista Networks announced the 7500R series, a switching and routing platform that it bills as a “universal spine,” targeted at cloud service providers and cloud-architected data centers. The 7500R builds upon Arista’s top of the line 7500E modular switching platform (launched in 2010 and refreshed in 2013) and adds a number of capabilities that make it suitable for replacing the dedicated routers that are ubiquitous in data center architectures today. The 7500E and 7500R share many of the same attributes and features, and line cards are compatible between the two series. The key difference is that the 7500R has approximately double the line card switching capacity and forwarding rates of the 7500E, as well as deep buffers to eliminate head-of line blocking. In addition, the 7500R has a routing engine called FlexRoute, which enables up to 1 million routes, giving the 7500R the scale necessary for large data center and many service provider deployments. The 7500R comes in 3 chassis sizes, from 4-12 slots, is NEBS-compliant to address the requirements of telco, and with a nod to the future is 200 and 400G ready. Unlike other high-end router manufacturers, Arista uses merchant silicon from Broadcom (Jericho), which allows for significantly lower pricing, ~$3,000 per 100G port.