Foundry to Expand High and Low Ends of Its Switch/Router Lineup

By Paula Musich  |  Posted 2003-01-27

Foundry Networks Inc. this week will extend the high and low ends of the companys switch/router product line as it looks to satisfy customers trying to reduce the number of vendors they must deal with.

At the high end, Foundry will introduce a two-port 10 Gigabit Ethernet line card for its high-speed, chassis-based switches. At the low end, the San Jose, Calif., networking vendor will add a pair of stackable 10/100M-bps Ethernet switches providing 24- or 48-port densities. Both will debut at the ComNet exhibition in Washington.

The two-port 10 Gigabit Ethernet line card, which takes up a single slot in Foundrys NetIron, BigIron or FastIron chassis switches, doubles the port density of those switches at a 20 percent cost reduction over Foundrys one-port card.

It is intended for high-end networking users who are aggregating multiple Gigabit Ethernet connections—especially at educational and research facilities, where most 10 Gigabit Ethernet deployments exist today.

"We keep doing things like adding more cluster servers, doing backbone aggregation for 1 Gigabit [Ethernet] clients, and were doing grid computing here," said Richard Nelson, director of computing at the University of Southern Californias Information Sciences Institute, in Marina del Rey, Calif.

"Im wary about putting a bunch of those 1 Gigabit clients into a 1 Gigabit backbone," said Nelson, who likes the space saving that the new card offers for routers.

The module uses Xenpak pluggable optical transceivers that allow users to mix the optics used for the ports. The transceivers, similar to GBICs (Gigabit Interface Converters), allow users to have both 10- and 40-kilometer optics in the same module.

The EdgeIron 10/100 stackables, which are Layer 2-only switches, backfill Foundrys line of switches at the low end. They are intended to attract Global 2000 customers, taking Foundry beyond its narrower focus on service providers, Layers 2 and 3 switching, and Layers 4 to 7 application switching.

Foundrys EdgeIron 2402CF provides 24 10/100 ports and a two-port Gigabit Ethernet uplink that supports Gigabit RJ-45 copper links and includes a mini-GBIC slot for optical links. The EdgeIron 4802CF provides 48 10/100 ports with similar Gigabit Ethernet uplinks.

Those switches, due in March, are priced at $2,195 and $4,195, respectively. The new 10 Gigabit Ethernet module, due by the end of March, is priced at $99,995 or $139,995, depending on the optics.

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