Foundry Fills Out at 4-7

We're not talking about dress sizes - the vendor has unveiled its new family of switches at Supercomm

June 21, 2004

3 Min Read
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CHICAGO Supercomm 2004 – Foundry Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FDRY) has launched its new family of Layers 4 to 7 switches at Supercomm today, which includes the "worldwide debut" of a new, modular, 10-Gigabit device.

The modular E-series switches fill the gap between Foundry’s entry-level GT devices and the higher-end 400 and 800 series switches. The new releases include the two-port Gigabit Ethernet EGx2 and the four-port Gigabit Ethernet EGx4, as well as the 10-Gigabit E10Gx2. Despite the fanfare, Foundry is not the first to plant its 10-Gig flag in this space.

Mahwah, N.J., vendor Radware Ltd. (Nasdaq: RDWR) beat Foundry to the punch by over a year, launching its Application Switch III back in February 2003. However, while Radware offers a single 10-Gigabit port on its switch, the E10Gx2 has two, with the option of adding an additional four.

Max Flisi, research analyst at IDC believes that this could help firms gradually roll out their 10-Gigabit networks. He says, “Having the expansion slots is an advantage for expandability.”

But, for most firms, this could still be some way off. “10 Gigabit could be a selling point,” he adds, "but it depends on what the customer needs – 10 Gigabit is still only a tiny, tiny part of the market."For its part, Radware is planning to expand its own offerings with regard to port density, hot swapping, and redundant power supplies, although a spokesman for the company refused to provide precise details of when this is likely to happen.

Foundry claims that the EGx2 is capable of 50,000 Layer 4 connections per second, with the EGx4 and the E10Gx2 offering 100,000 and 150,000 connections, respectively.

On the security side, the company says the EGx2 can handle 700,000 SYN flood attacks per second, whereas the EGx4 and E10GX2 are said to be capable of handling 1,500,000 and 3,000,000. This feature is designed to prevent denial-of-service attacks whereby hackers leave TCP/IP connections open.

The new Foundry gear hasn't yet been independently tested – these performance figures are based on the vendor’s own internal testing. Gopala Tumuluri, Foundry’s product line manager for Layers 4 to 7, told us that the company is planning to do third-party benchmarking on the devices later this year.

It’s not surprising that Foundry has timed its launch to coincide with Supercomm: The E10Gx2 will initially be aimed at service providers and e-commerce firms, although the vendor hopes that the product will eventually make its way into large enterprises. The EGx2 and the EGx4 are being targeted at small to medium-sized enterprises.IDC's Flisi says, “This helps Foundry fill out their product line and ensure that they have a broader product offering in the Layer 4 to 7 space to meet customers’ needs.”

Matt Philips, vice president of technology at online advertising company Right Media., which uses two 400 series switches from Foundry, agrees, and wishes that the new family of switches had been on the market earlier: “A few months back, when we were purchasing the 400s, if the E-series had been available, we would have seriously considered it – it would have been a nice intermediate option.

”If my 400s blew up today, I would get an EGx2 or an EGx4, knowing that I could upgrade to an E10Gx2 when I am ready,” he adds.

Although 10 Gigabit is yet to take off, the broader Layer 4 to 7 market is already busy, and the Foundry offerings will be coming up against a variety of products from F5 Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FFIV), NetScaler Inc., and Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT).

— James Rogers, Site Editor, Next-gen Data Center Forum0

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