Foundry Leapfrogs High End Switching Vendors

Foundry's BigIron RX-32 leapfrogs ahead of competing offerings by providing the highest port density and fastest single-chassis switching in the market.

Foundry Networks on May 22 will go back to its roots as a high-performance, high-density switch maker when it launches its new BigIron RX-32 Layer 3 switch at Interop.

Foundrys BigIron RX-32 leapfrogs ahead of competing offerings from Cisco or Force10 Networks by providing the highest port density and fastest single-chassis switching in the market, according to founder and CEO Bobby Johnson in Santa Clara, Calif.

"Foundry likes to focus on absolute price/performance leadership in the LAN. Today we are the high-performance leader with Foundrys existing high end RX at more than 1 billion packets per second. Now we are doubling our own leadership profile with the RX-32. It tops out at over 2.2 billion pps," Johnson said.

Although Foundry recently has focused its efforts on the wiring closet, the new BigIron RX-32, aimed at data center server aggregation, distribution layer aggregation, data mining, Internet Exchange Points and High Performance Computing applications, is a "back-to-the-future" exercise for Foundry, said Zeus Kerravala, industry analyst with The Yankee Group in Boston.

"Utter the word Foundry and the most common thing that comes to mind is high-performance switching. Its got them to where they are today," he said.

Johnson also boasted that the BigIron RX-32 delivers the greatest port density on the market. "Its got 128 10 Gigabit Ethernet non blocking, or 1536 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Its a network in a box. It takes our competitors many units to equal the performance and density of this device," he added.

By boosting the total number of ports it can support in a single chassis, Foundry reduced the total rack space required to reach a similar density.

In designing the new high-end switch, Foundry was mindful of power and cooling concerns for data centers, which are struggling to keep up with power requirements. The switch, designed on less power-hungry chip sets and Application Specific Integrated Circuits, will consume 11.1 kilowatts of power fully loaded with 1,536 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Foundry claimed a similar number of ports using a Cisco Catalyst 6500 would require 12 chassis that would eat up 45.9 kilowatts of power.

/zimages/3/28571.gifTo read more about existing BigIron RX switches, click here.

The switch also features integrated cable management, full layer 2 or 3 switching, IP V 4 or V 6 routing and fully redundant switching fabric and power. The switching fabric provides 7.68 terabits per second of non-blocking aggregate capacity. It uses existing BigIron line cards and software.

The new BigIron RX-32 is due in September and will start at $195,000.

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