With the new architecture, Foundry is targeting grid or cluster computing installations, server farms that employ Gigabit Ethernet server interfaces, universities with large campuses and as a means to interconnect islands of storage area networks as well as ISP metro networks and WAN applications. The first of several planned products based on the architecture include the new BigIron MG8 backbone Layer 2/3 switch, which supports the full 1.28 terabits per second switching capacity and provides 32 ports per system.It also offers 802.1Q rapid spanning tree Layer 2 switching, can maintain 200 peers and 2 million routes based on Border Gateway Protocol 4.0, supports a variety of multicast protocols and includes several security mechanisms. "They havent ventured too far into the router space, or done a lot of different things with security. Their focus has allowed them to make a very good switch. Theyre like the Juniper of switching. If you wanted to build a best of breed network, youd use Foundry for switching and Juniper for routing," said Kerravala. For Internet Service Providers, Foundry announced the NetIron 40G metro router, which also supports 32 ports per system and 1.28 terabits per second capacity. It will differ from the BigIron MG8 in its management and interface modules. Its management modules can scale to 4 million BGP routes, and its interface modules can scale to 512,000 IP routes. The switches are due out later this summer.
The BigIron MG8, targeted at enterprises, offers a number of features for high availability, including hot-swappable power suppliers, hot-pluggable interface modules, redundant management modules with fast failover and IEEE 802.3ad link aggregation.