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10-GigE Price Drops Continue

The price of 10-Gbit/s Ethernet continues to drop, as Foundry Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FDRY) today announced 10-Gbit/s ports for its FastIron line of modular switches.

The company's new FES-X series of Gigabit Ethernet boxes can be outfitted with two ports of 10-Gbit/s Ethernet, at a price of about $3,250 per port. That figure one-ups Extreme Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: EXTR), which announced $4,000 per port for the 10-Gbit/s option on its Summit 400 switch (see Foundry Boosts 10-Gig Plans and Extreme Switch Adds 10-GigE).

These are smaller switches, measuring one or two rack units, as opposed to large routers such as Cisco Systems Inc.'s (Nasdaq: CSCO) Catalyst 6500, Extreme's BlackDiamond 10000, and Foundry's NetIron 40G. Cisco is still the price leader there, having announced a four-port card that brought per-port 10-Gbit/s Ethernet prices down to about $5,000, or $12,000 with a necessary daughter card (see Cisco Bombs 10-GigE Pricing).

The recent Foundry and Extreme announcements compete more with Cisco's Catalyst 3750. Cisco officials declined to comment on future plans for the product line, but the 3750 appears to have fallen behind, as it lacks a 10-Gbit/s option. Moreover, it scales to only 24 ports of Gigabit Ethernet, compared with 48 for Extreme's Summit 400 and Foundry's FES-X.

"Extreme has an advantage with its stackable line over Cisco at this point, and [FES-X] should give Foundry an advantage on the modular side," says Erik Suppiger, analyst with Pacific Growth Equities Inc.

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