Fujitsu Debuts 26-port 10-Gig Switch

Fujitsu Frontech North America today announced the XG2600 10Gb Ethernet switch. The 26-port XG2600 utilizes SFP+ optical modules and is designed for use with SFP+ twinax copper cables, a physical connection option that is finding greater acceptance as data center managers look for ways to balance reduced cost and easier physical installation. The XG2600 is also designed to reduce costs by lowering power consumption to less than five watts per port. Fujitsu is taking orders for the XG2600 now for

November 12, 2009

3 Min Read
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Fujitsu Frontech North America today announced the XG2600 10Gb Ethernet switch. The 26-port XG2600 utilizes SFP+ optical modules and is designed for use with SFP+ twinax copper cables, a physical connection option that is finding greater acceptance as data center managers look for ways to balance reduced cost and easier physical installation. The XG2600 is also designed to reduce costs by lowering power consumption to less than five watts per port. Fujitsu is taking orders for the XG2600 now for fulfillment in December. List price for the XG2600 begins at $18,000.

The XG2600 enhances the Fujitsu XG product line by offering several new features. The use of SFP+ optical modules and support for SFP+ twinax copper cables enables customers to cost-effectively maximize the use of each available port and minimize the overall cost of energy and cabling. The XG2600 also offers field-reversible cooling fans which reduce the overall cost of cooling. All of this is packaged in a 1U high form factor.

Jim Preasmyer, director of sales and business development for Fujitsu, says that the XG2600 is a logical "next step" in the development of the company's XG switch series. "At a high level, we've been in the 10 gig switch business since late 2005. We started with a 12-port box, largely because our engineers developed an ASIC for 10 gig switching. It had 450 nanosecond latency. The next year we went with a 20 port switch built with the same low latency, this time down to 300 nanoseconds. We announced the 26-port ASIC and will release it this week."

Fujitsu's 10 Gb switches have been targeted at high-performance computing and storage where low latency is a critical need. One customer with such a need is the SETI Project at the University of California, Berkeley.

Dan Werthimer is director of the SETI program and director of the Center for Astronomy Signal Processing at the University of California. He says that the SETI Program has used Fujitsu 10 Gb switches since the first 12-port versions were released. He says that the telescopes employed by the university's astronomy department push the switches to operate at full data rate on a nearly constant basis, and that the Fujitsu switches have performed reliably under those conditions."We tested equipment from other vendors. All the vendors claim they can handle the full cross-bar bandwidth, but we found that isn't the case. We found that Fujitsu could. We're doing high-bandwidth supercomputing, and every port is talking to every other port," Werthimer says. He explains that the SETI project builds special-purpose supercomputers using Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) to provide back-end processing for the SETI at Home component of the project. Each telescope puts out hundreds of gigs per second of data, and the FPGA modules have "a bunch of 10 gig ports," so the project must deal in large quantities of data flowing between many different processors, servers and data storage units. Werthimer says that the performance of the Fujitsu switches has been good enough to convince the thirty universities that are part of the SETI project to use them for networking between radio telescopes and computer arrays.

The SETI Project, with its mountains of data moving between processing modules is a great example of the sort of application that has seen 10Gb networking moving forward with deployment. For many IT managers, the constraints of the recession have meant that high-bandwidth networks, once seen as inevitable, have been tabled in favor of data reduction and network optimization. As business grows and very high bandwidth applications move away from the traditional realms of scientific visualization and commercial animation rendering, more companies will be forced to take a fresh look at 10Gb networking and its amazing array of nearly a dozen connection types. When they do, products like the new Fujitsu, with an emphasis on low power consumption and reasonable physical form factor, will be an easier sale to executive management than the fiber-only behemoths that have until recently defined this networking segment.

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