Riverstone Networks Inc. Monday nudged the per port price of 10 Gigabit Ethernet below the $10,000 level in a bid to accelerate adoption of the high-speed networking technology.
"People want pricing in the line of what 10 One Gigabit Ethernet ports cost. We think there is pent-up demand for it at that price point," said Steve Garrison, senior director of corporate marketing at Riverstone in Santa Clara, Calif.
Although prices for 10 Gigabit Ethernet have been trending down, they are still about $30,000 per port among other competitors, maintained Garrison.
Riverstones new XGS 9000 line of 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches is built from the ground up to deliver line-rate routing and switching. Riverstone designed application-specific integrated circuits that handle multiple functions, and it exploited lower price points in programmable silicon technology to add customized features in microcode.
But beyond the raw performance, the new modular switches support a range of advanced features such as Multi-Protocol Label Switching, which allows users to build scaleable Virtual Private Networks. The switches are also designed to support IP Version 6 as well as Quality of Service features for voice over IP.
The XGS 9016 22-slot chassis is a 320 Gbps switch that can be upgraded to 640 Gbps with the addition of a second switch fabric. It can transfer 400 million packets per second (Mpps), or 800 Mpps with the second switch fabric. The switch accommodates up to 16 line cards, up to two control and two switching fabric modules.
The XGS 9008 is a 160 Gbps switch that can transfer up to 200 Mpps. It too can be upgraded to provide an aggregate switching capacity of 320 Gbps or 400 Mpps. It includes eight slots for line cards and four slots for control modules and switching fabrics.
To boost software reliability, Riverstone developed modular software that has no impact on other software functions when one element fails. If, for example, MPLS fails, it would not affect the operation of Border Gateway Protocol or Open Shortest Path First routing protocols.
The software also includes a "hitless protection system" that insures that in the event of one control module failing, automatic failover to a redundant control module would not have an impact on traffic.
Riverstone is targeting its high-speed switches at early adopters among universities and research organizations, carriers, metropolitan area network providers and grid computing installations.
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