Foundry Future-Proofs VOIP and Wireless

By Paula Musich  |  Posted 2006-05-01 Print this article Print

Foundry Networks prepares to release new switch products that support voice over IP and wireless.

Foundry Networks will sing a convergence tune at Interop as it prepares to release new switch products that support voice over IP and wireless. To help network managers prepare for a second wave of POE (Power over Ethernet) requirements driven by the forthcoming IEEE 802.11n wireless standard and IP cameras for video surveillance, Foundry on May 1 will introduce at the Las Vegas show the new FastIron GS stackable edge switches. The FastIron GS line, with four new models, can support up to 48 ports of Class 3 POE. The line brings a greater level of resiliency to the POE stackables with redundant power supplies.
They are designed to ease the transition to POE by allowing two of the models to be upgraded later to add POE and by supporting older optical fiber standards used for FDDI networks.
Software support in the new FastIronGS 10/100/1000 switches include power management, dynamic virtual LAN configuration and support for legacy Cisco IP phones. With the assertion that 10 Gigabit Ethernet is now the de facto technology for LAN backbones and uplinks, Foundry also added a new two-port 10 Gigabit Ethernet module for the FastIron GS switches. The module supports a range of 10 Gigabit Ethernet optics, and it can be upgraded with POE through a small Foundry DIMM (dual in-line memory module) module. "Its like a memory upgrade. It eliminates the forklift upgrade that happens when you buy 10/100/1000 switches," said Val Oliva, director of product management for the FastIron GS line, in Santa Clara, Calif. "With other switches, network managers planning to do an upgrade are forced to rethink or delay installation until theyve figured out their POE requirements. This product helps with that," he added. The FastIron GS products are due in May. On the wireless front, Foundry will address several problems around locating wireless security threats, preparing for IEEE 802.11 standards, and scaling and ensuring the voice quality required for wireless VOIP. Foundrys new Wireless Location Manager adds new security to its IronPoint wireless line. It can detect and locate rogue wireless access points on a corporate wireless LAN. "We use advanced triangulation so we can identify the difference between an attacker and your next-door neighbor using their own private wireless LAN," said Michael Hong, wireless product manager at Foundry. "Our mapping program is available to support large office buildings, campuses and more." Also at Interop, Cisco gives its 7200 Series Router features to better handle the increasing demands coming from edge routers. Click here to read more. For wireless VOIP, Foundry will introduce the new IronPoint Mobility Controller and Access Point line, which is capable of supporting 30 concurrent voice calls per access point. "Thats five times higher than traditional access points. It is the highest in the industry and supports wireline voice quality on all 30 calls," said Hong. The controllers scale to support as many as 150 access points, and a total of 4,500 concurrent voice calls. They can automatically detect and prioritize Session Initiation Protocol, H.323, Spectralink and Vocera voice protocols. The controllers also use Foundry Networks proprietary technique to ensure zero packet loss when roaming. Finally, in preparation for the migration to the forthcoming IEEE 902.11n high-speed wireless standards, Foundry will introduce its new FastIron X and Super X IronPoint wireless switch series. The switches support Gigabit Ethernet at the networks edge and POE. They also support 10 Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. Foundry as part of the offering will include new antenna technology that allows wireless networks to send and receive to multiple devices at the same time. "The new antennas will increase overall throughput. As a result you will see higher adoption and use of the wireless network. People want to future-proof what they buy today for this new standard, which is still in the draft phase for IEEE," Hong said. The Wireless Location Manager, IronPoint Controller and access points are due in the third quarter. The FastIron X and SuperX IronPoint Wireless Switch Series are due early next year. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.

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