Metamako is bringing products to market based on our successful MetaConnect platform. At the core of this platform is a flexible and highly extensible X86 management platform, field replaceable power and cooling, state of the art signal integrity circuitry and the lowest latency architecture in a 1 RU form factor.
Moving up the network stack we have MetaMux, a hybrid multi-layer switch with 5 nanosecond packet-aware layer 1 switching, around 56 nanosecond layer 2 and 3 aggregration and 95 nanosecond filtering. This approach provides neglible latency where possible and the fastest multiplexing when required.
Following on its coat tails are niche networking products that leverage the maturity of the core while solving specific problems with the highest performance.
Check our news periodically for announcements.
MetaConnect is specifically designed for latency-sensitive applications:
- With a latency of around 4 nanoseconds and virtually no jitter, MetaConnect replaces ad-hoc fiber splitters, taps, media converters and much slower switches to simplify your network while being virtually undetectable. It replicates information such as market data from 1 to many ports in 4ns and can be applied to a wide range of other use cases;
- Lowers operating cost by replacing high cost fiber with low cost passive direct-attached copper and through the flexible use of inexpensive SFP+ modules;
- It has a familiar management platform that is powerful yet easy to use;
The simple answer is, that it depends on how many ports you need.
A common application of MetaConnect is as an interface between a rack and the outside world, such as a front-end to a WAN link. For example, it can be used as a circuit breaker (kill switch), a tap, or as a signal monitor and debug tool, in which case, 16 ports is probably sufficient.
For small deployments, it is more economical to get MetaConnect 16 as it costs less than the 48. However, if you have a use for more ports or have plans to expand, then the cost per-port is lower with MetaConnect 48.
MetaConnect provides an integrated solution to an ultra-low latency architecture:
- Compared to solutions traditionally deployed using L2 switches, the MetaConnect has a much lower latency. It means you can stop worrying about the latency per hop and allows you to put a device in-line where normally you'd like to avoid it. It enables new use cases because the latency is the same as only 3 feet of fiber.
- Compared to solutions traditionally deployed using passive and regenerative network taps, we provide a number of advantages. First, you get full visibility into what's going on on your ports. You get packet statistics. You get a timestamping ability built right into the device. You get an extremely powerful and extensible management platform. You get bulletproof signal regeneration, so the signal goes out better than it came in. All of this without compromising an astounding latency of < 4ns.
MetaConnect represents a new breed of physical layer switch:
- Focused on ultra low-latency - Traditionally, physical layer switches have been designed for test automation and network monitoring. Metamako builds solutions based on our experience deploying solutions in co-location centers with ultra-low latency in mind.
- Packet-awareness - Physical layer switches generally don't know about packets because they switch at the bit level. The breakthrough with MetaConnect is that provides both the low latency bit-level switching along with high-level awarness of Ethernet packets. This means that you get excellent diagnostic and monitoring support through comprehensive packet statistics, link status and the ability to capture packets for debugging purposes without a performance penalty.
- Signal quality - MetaConnect's signal integrity circuitry makes it possible to reliably convert between different network media (at the same rate) and diagnostic eye diagrams can be produced to graphically represent the signal quality for any port.
- Timestamping - Due to its "packet-awareness", MetaConnect can timestamp packets that flows through it. This adds a bit of latency, so you don't want to do it on your critical paths, but you can "tap off" these critical paths and timestamp a copy on another port without impacting latency on the existing critical path. If you connect a PPS signal from a GPS or time server to the coax port on the device, then you'll get timestamps aligned with UTC. Without GPS, the relative accuracy will be good, but the absolute accuracy will drift (e.g. you'll be able to do latency measurements without problems, as long as its flowing through the same device).
- Powerful management platform - MetaConnect has a x86-64 processor and Linux-based management software so that it is binary compatible with the majority of servers being used in industry. This makes it easy to deploy software components including custom applications and it makes development and testing much easier.
MetaConnect has many uses, but here are some finance related ones:
- A broker/clearer who connects MetaConnect between their client and an exchange-provided link, using the MetaConnect to tap the client's packets for monitoring and compliance, and controlling the MetaConnect's port status as a last-line-of-defence circuit breaker / kill switch.
- A latency sensitive trader who uses MetaConnect at the top of their rack, distributing the return traffic from an exchange to multiple machines simultaneously, drastically reducing latency on the return path.
- A latency sensitive trader who uses MetaConnect at the top of their rack to allow them to reconfigure their connections remotely, or during the trading day while physical access to the rack is not possible.
- An exchange who uses a MetaConnect to distribute a market data feed to a large number of clients fairly and simultaneously, with no jitter.
MetaMux is a 48-port hybrid switch that performs layer 1 switching in 4 ns, layer 2 and 3 multiplexing in 55 ns and filtering in less than 100 ns.
Because it is based on MetaConnect, it has the same layer 1 features of dynamic patching, tapping, one-to-many replication, media conversion, packet-aware stats and timestamping and blistering 4 ns performance.
On top of that, MetaMux performs multiplexing of links in around 55 ns for scenarios such as one to many order entry or tap aggregation.
The question then of MetaMux versus MetaConnect comes down to price and application. If you don't require the multiplexing capability then MetaConnect provides more ports (96-port version) or a smaller, lower-cost set in the 16-port configuration. Having fewer components and simpler firmware makes it is less expensive - you don't pay for what you don't need.
On the other hand, the hybrid approach of MetaMux gives the best of both worlds - neglible latency where possible with the fastest multiplexing when required.
We don't lock down which SFP and SFP+ transceivers you can and can't use with our devices as we design them to be as flexible as possible. Our state of the art signal integrity hardware allows us to use hard-to-drive modules. For example, both long and short direct attach copper cables can be driven without creating bit errors. We also support Long Reach Multimode SFP+ modules (LRM) and the usual array of SR, LR, ER, ZR, 1GBase-T, etc.
We've published a list of SFP and SFP+ modules that we've tested, or we've had positive reports about, on our web site, and we're happy to sell you our recommended SFP+ module. If you try any SFP or SFP+ module that isn't on our list and it works well for you, let us know. If it doesn't, also let us know and we'll see what we can do to fix the situation (this can occur because the SFP/SFP+ manufacturer hasn't adhered to the specification, or it provides some extra features outside of the spec. This is particularly common with 1GBase-T modules).
You can find our list of SFP and SFP+ modules here:
Long story short – we'll let you know which SFP and SFP+ modules we've tested and will endeavour to make that list as expansive as possible, but can't guarantee anything outside that list.
We have tested and thereby qualified our products with the following SFP and SFP+ modules, and unless otherwise noted, we've found no errata.
10GBase-SR (850 nm)
- Finisar FTLX8571D3BCV
- Finisar FTLX8574D3BCV
- Intel FTLX8571D3BCV-IT
- Arista SFP-10G-SR
10GBase-LR (1310 nm)
- Finisar FTLX1471D3BCV
10GBase-ER (1550 nm)
- Finisar FTLX1672D3BCL
Metamako sends securely packaged evaluation and ordered products to any financial centre in single units or in bulk.