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Data Center Switches

Routers and switches are the lions and tigers of the data center. Combined, they're king of the network jungle. Router switches, or Layer 2/3 switches, consume all packets sent their way, switch or route good ones to their final destinations, and discard unwanted traffic using ACLs (access control lists), all at Gigabit and 10 Gigabit speeds. Add high availability and modularity, and you turn a Layer 2/3 switch into a data center switch.



Today, speed is a given--throughput is no longer a major differentiator. Network processors deliver wire speeds, and a switch that lags in performance will last as long as a lame wildebeest on the Serengeti. Today's data center switch buyers would do better to focus on top-notch management: The sooner you learn about a problem on a port, module or switch that reduces network throughput and degrades performance, the fewer angry users will be hunting you down.

We asked 12 vendors to send HA (high-availability), modular switches suitable for use in data centers and populated with 48 10/100/1000Base-TX ports and two 10 Gigabit Ethernet (multimode fiber) ports to our Syracuse University Real-World Labs®. Three met the requirements and the challenge: Alcatel submitted an OmniSwitch 9700, Extreme Networks sent us a BlackDiamond 8800 and 3Com provided its 8810 Switch.

Data Center Switch Features

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