After nearly two years in stealth mode, Woven Systems is about to launch its 10-Gbit/s switch technology and pitch it as a challenger to InfiniBand. (See Woven Weaves 10-Gig, Woven, and Top 10 Startups to Watch.)
The EFX 1000 is a 10-rack-unit-high, chassis-based switch, containing up to 144 10-Gbit/s Ethernet ports. Woven is pushing it as a high-speed link between servers and storage. (See Future SANs Stir Debate.)
The EFX 1000 is set to start beta tests at the end of April and will finally be launched at Interop next month, according to Derek Granath, Woven's vice president of marketing. While he won't name any early adopters, he says the startup's initial target market includes Web hosting companies and Internet firms such as Yahoo and YouTube. (See Get Users Involved, Says Yahoo Boss and The Web Data Dilemma.)
"Some of the early applications are servers that are connected by Gigabit Ethernet to a switch that has 10-Gbit/s uplinks," he explains. He says a typical EFX 100 deployment would be a Web 2.0 company that needs to tie together "tens of thousands" of servers. (See In Search of Enterprise 2.0, IBM Exec Declares Web 2.0, and Keynote Monitors Web 2.0 Apps.)
Granath says the initial release will use the CX-4 Ethernet interface, with support for fiber optic interfaces and 10GBase-T built into future versions of the product. (See 10GBase-T Adapters Debut, More on 10GBase-T , and 10GBase-T Compliance in Doubt.) An entry-level EFX 1000 will cost around $40,000 and increase in price depending on the number of ports deployed.