Nortel Launches Line of 10G Ethernet Switches for Enterprise Networking

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2009-01-12 Print this article Print

The stackable Nortel ERS 5600 switches were designed and engineered in-house at Nortel and are meant for use in deployment of unified communications networks for large enterprises.

Networking hardware and software provider Nortel on Jan. 12 launched the Nortel ERS 5600 series line of Ethernet routing switches, which have 10 Gigabit Ethernet uplink connectivity and are intended for use in deployment of unified communications networks for large enterprises.

The five new stackable switches were designed and engineered in-house at Nortel.

The Nortel Ethernet Routing Switch 5600 line can be used in the edge, distribution and core layers of a network. The 5600 switches are stack-compatible with the previous ERS 5500 line of switches, allowing a mix of port speeds and densities for virtually any application, the company said.

The new models feature 10G Ethernet uplink capacity. The 5600 also includes a model with support for up to 96G-bit POE (power over Ethernet) ports. This POE capacity in a stackable switch is an exclusive feature, Nortel said.

"This is more than a new line of stackable switches for traditional deployments," said networking analyst Zeus Kerravala, a senior vice president of The Yankee Group. "Given the performance and resiliency they bring to the data center environment, this new line offers enterprises flexibility at a very aggressive price point.

"This bolsters Nortel's unified communications solution portfolio, but, more importantly, it demonstrates that Nortel is moving forward in designing new products that represent strong offerings and commitment to the enterprise market."

Nortel competes in the same switch market as Cisco Systems, Juniper Networks and Brocade Foundry. Pricing for the 5600 series ranges from an entry-level $8,000 unit to about $20,000 for a high-end configuration, depending upon optional features.

"These switches have about 20 times the performance of comparable Cisco switches," Jake Power, director of communications solutions marketing for Nortel, told eWEEK. "Juniper just entered this market last year [in 2008] and is sort of starting from scratch. Foundry Networks, acquired by Brocade last year, focuses mainly on the high-end enterprise space. We sell to customers all over the board."

The Nortel Ethernet Routing Switch 5600 portfolio is generally available now. For more information, go here.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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