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Foundry Drops 10-GigE Prices

The expected price drops in 10-Gbit/s Ethernet are continuing, with Foundry Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FDRY) trumping Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) with a price of $2,500 per port (see Foundry Launches 10-Gig Products).

Foundry today announced it's shipping an eight-port stackable switch, the EdgeIron 8X10G, with a list price of roughly $20,000, not including optics. This lowers the base price of $5,000 per port that Cisco had achieved last year with a four-port module, and it's worlds away from the $20,000 or more attached to some 10-Gbit/s Ethernet ports early in 2003.

The hope is that lower prices will drive 10-Gbit/s Ethernet to the mainstream more quickly. "The cost per-port has come down enough that it is no longer a barrier to deployment. Companies want to put a network in that will last for five to ten years," says Zeus Kerravala, vice president of enterprise infrastructure at The Yankee Group.

Cisco's four-port module gave it a serious market-share boost, knocking Foundry out of the top spot, according to Synergy Research Group Inc. (see Cisco Bombs 10-GigE Pricing). Foundry could enjoy the same kind of jump, but a lot is going to depend on whether the mainstream needs eight 10-Gbit/s Ethernet ports.

"The question is how much demand their customers have for something of that high density," says Synergy analyst Joshua Johnson. "Then again, they sell to Japanese service providers and the Department of Defense," both of which use high volumes of high-speed connections, he notes.

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