Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Foundry Networks Product Blitz Pushes 10-Gigabit Ethernet

Foundry Networks hopes to kindle mainstream adoption of 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) with the announcement of an array of new 10 GbE products at prices as low as $2,500 per port. The company reinforced its efforts to drive 10 GbE to the mainstream with the launch of what it bills as the first 10 GbE wide area network physical layer (WAN PHY) optical transceiver.

The new products range from low-cost edge and aggregation switches to large enterprise Layer2/Layer 3 switches. Foundry's new 8-port GbE module for its BigIron MG8 switch offers a highly scalable solution for large enterprises with up to 64 GbE ports in a single switch. The BigIron switch is designed for high-density, bandwidth-intensive enterprise and service provider data centers.

Foundry has also announced the FastIron Workgroup X424 and X448 wire-speed 10/100/1000 Layer 2 edge switches. They are designed for high availability and feature 24 and 48 Gigabit over copper ports, respectively, and one or two 10 GbE uplinks. The EdgeIron 8X10G 8-port 10 GbE aggregation switch offers hot-pluggable XFP 10 GbE optics and rates up to 120 million packets per second in a compact unit designed for cluster and high-density environments. Most importantly, it drives the price-per-port of 10 GbE as low as $2,500.

That price point is an important target for equipment vendors hoping to drive 10 GbE into the mainstream. "Industry analysts have been predicting a sharp ramp in 10-GbE customer adoptions in the late 2005 or 2006 timeframe, coinciding with 10-GbE prices dropping to less than $3,000 per port," Foundry vice president and general manager of the Layer 2/3 Switching and routing solutions, Ken Cheng said in a statement. "With this announcement, Foundry's product evolution and price/performance is ahead of this price curve by more than a year."

With the announcement of its 10 GbE WAN PHY optical transceiver, Foundry offers a lower-cost, Ethernet-based alternative to SONET/OC-192 fiber optic networks. The company says that the transceiver will accelerate 10 GbE deployment by enabling high performance links between local area, metro and wide-area networks. The new 10GBASE-LW WAN PHY optic encapsulates Ethernet frames in SONET frames at OC-192 rates. This technology can connect to divisional wavelength multiplexers and can carry native 10 Gb Ethernet over OC-192 networks.