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Foundry Flashes SuperX Switches

Foundry Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FDRY) has unveiled its SuperX family of 10-Gigabit Ethernet switches -- its latest attempt to tackle hardware giant Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO). (See Foundry Launches 10-Gig Switches.)

The new FastIron, TurboIron, and BigIron SuperX devices each come in a six-rack-unit high chassis. The three boxes offer up to 16 ports of 10-Gigabit Ethernet and 12 ports of Gigabit Ethernet on the management module. The BigIron and FastIron devices can also offer up 204 ports of Gigabit Ethernet, with the main difference between the two boxes being the amount of memory in the devices line cards.

Joshua Johnson, senior analyst at Synergy Research Group Inc., believes flexibility is the key benefit of these new devices. “It gives customers some flexibility in how they design their networks,” he says. “If you’re a mid-sized customer it’s a much cheaper core switch than stackables that are linked across the backplane."

Johnson believes the SuperX products offer key modular features such as the ability to swap ports in and out, at a size that is closer to that of a stackable switch.

With basic list prices of $15,000 for the FastIron SuperX, $30,000 for the BigIron SuperX, and $45,000 for the TurboIron SuperX, Foundry is again stoking the flames of 10-Gbit/s Ethernet, analysts say.

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